Pet Friendly 2007 Indian Budget
In the annual 2007 budget the govenment announced that the cost of petfood like cat food and dog food will be cheaper as the duties will be cut by 10 percent. Kudos to the govenment. Here are the facts -
Finance Minister - P Chidambaram : "I have good news for cat and dog lovers, I propose to reduce the duty on pet foods from 30 per cent to 20 per cent."
Opposition Party creates a commotion.
Speaker - Somnath Chatterjee: "don't you like dogs".
Leader of Opposition- L K Advani - "At a time today when aam admi (ordinary man) finds dal (lentils) costly, the Finance Minister exults over the fact that he is reducing prices of food for pets like dogs and cats"
Railway Minister - Laloo Prasad Yadav, "Pet food price cut benefits BJP leaders, these self-same leaders keep high pedigree dogs, whereas village simpletons like us only keep mongrels poor things. They're always running from pillar to post begging for food."
( I suppose he was referring to Maneka Gandhi and pals who roam about Lodhi Gardens with expensive foreign breeds as showpieces)
I think it is a good idea of the govenment to reduce the price of petfood. If the government is giving sops to every section of society - poor, women, wildlife, businesses etc. Then why not pets too ? It is not just the rich but even poor people in slums who have pets cats, dogs or birds. These pets may not be expensive foreign pedigreed animals but they are quite cute and well loved by their family.
The only reason why its usually the rich who feed their pets dogfood or catfood is because these items are very costly in India. Reducing the prices of petfood will lead to pets from not so rich families also getting a taste of petfood.
I don't know much about Pedigree dogfood but a pack of catfood usually costs -
Dry Whiskas - Rs.80 for 200 gms
Dry Brit or Sportmix - Rs.100 for 300 gms.
Wet Whiskas - Rs.25 for a pouch of Tuna or Salmon in jelly.
My cat loves catfood but like Laloo Prasad Yadav I usually feed him only kitchen scraps. I give him catfood only as a treat and try to make a single pack last a month because of the high cost. As the prices of petfood reduce more people will be able to feed their pets which will result in healthy and happy pets in India.
Pets may not be voters or have a voice but its good to see that the govenment is keeping them in mind when it comes to making proposals. As for the BJP, they always protest against any measure that does'nt benefit themselves.
I hope the petfood sellers pass on this benefit to the customers and don't keep the profits to themselves. And Mr. Laloo, next year, please announce special compartments in railway trains for pets and their owners as we don't like leaving them behind when we go on vacation....... pleeeease. (You'll get my vote)