The move is protest the hike in the tax on chicken

The Poultry Farmers and Traders Coordination Committee, an umbrella organisation in the poultry sector, will begin an indefinite strike from August 28.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Committee chairman Binny Immatty said that the poultry shops will down shutters from Wednesday night in protest against the government’s decision to raise the tax on chicken.

The government had recently increased the basic price of chicken from Rs. 70 a kg to Rs. 95.

“Kerala is the only State, which imposes 14.5 per cent luxury tax on chicken. Instead of encouraging the farmers, the government seems to be against any development in the sector,” Mr. Immatty said.

The farmers and traders will disrupt the poultry vehicles transporting chicken from Tamil Nadu to Kerala at the checkposts from Wednesday night.

More than 70 per cent of the chicken for the State’s need comes from Tamil Nadu.

The committee condemned the hike in basic price of chicken and of chicks from Rs. 25 to Rs. 35. “This will increase the price of a chicken by Rs. 28 a kg and chick by Rs. 12 a kg,” it noted.

The committee urged the government to raise their tax exemption level from Rs.10 lakh to Rs. 60 lakh.

“The licensing procedures for the poultry farmers should be simplified. The increased electricity charge for farms should be reduced,” they said.

Collusion alleged

Farmers alleged collusion of officials with the Tamil Nadu lobby behind the stringent norms against poultry farms. More than 60,000 poultry farmers had been affected by the non-friendly attitude of the government, they said.

Mr. Immatty alleged that hike in the basic price for VAT realisation is prompting traders to evade the tax net.

“There are at least 12 parallel routes from Tamil Nadu to Kerala to smuggle chicken by evading tax. The government decision to increase tax has only resulted in more smuggling, they said..

Simplification of farm licensing procedures and stringent action against officials who harass farmers are among their other emands.

The Farmers and Traders Committee, All Kerala Chicken Merchants and Commission Agents Association, Kerala Poultry Farmers and Traders Association and All Kerala Poultry Federation are the various organisations under the coordination committee.

  • Plea to raise tax exemption level from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 60 lakh

  • More than 60,000 poultry farmers have been affected: panel