Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday tabled the much debated Cow Protection Bill in the Assembly on the first day of the budget session of the Assam Assembly.

The Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021 aims to ban interstate transport of cows through the state in order to control their smuggling to Bangladesh.

The Bill seeks to stop the transport of cattle from any place within Assam to places outside the state, where slaughter of cattle is not regulated by law. Besides, the transport of cattle from places outside Assam to any place within the state will also be banned by the legislation.

The Bill states that the competent authority may issue permit for transport of cattle for bona fide agricultural or animal husbandry purposes as prescribed in the rules framed under the Act. However, the Bill has certain exemptions on transportation of cattle.

No permission would be required to carry cattle to grazing field or for agricultural or animal husbandry purposes within a district, the proposed Bill states.

Apart from this, the Bill also seeks to regulate the sale of beef in the state by restricting it to certain places. Once enacted, beef would be allowed to be sold only in places permitted by the new legislation.

Violations of the provisions of the Bill could lead to imprisonment for 3 to 8 years and a fine between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 5 lakh will be imposed.

Besides the Bill on cow protection, 13 other bills will be tabled in the Assembly session.

On the first day of the session, the opposition MLAs staged a walkout in protest against inflation. The opposition demanded a discussion on high prices of commodities in Assam, including fuel, which was rejected by Speaker Biswajit Daimary.

The 15th Assam Legislative Assembly which started its first Budget session today will continue for 15 working days till August 13.