Harsh Vardhan said people can give their suggestions on the new cattle rules to the ministry. (File)
The government does not want to "alter" the food habits of people and put businesses in "any kind of difficulty", union minister Harsh Vardhan said. His remarks come amid protests over the notification issued by his ministry on the sale of cattle for slaughter at markets across the country. "We drafted the rules after the Supreme Court directive. Following this, the notification was put in the public domain for a period of one month," Mr Vardhan, who holds multiple portfolios including the Environment Ministry, said.
"Some suggestions came and were incorporated into the rules. Our intention behind issuing the rules is not to alter the food habits of people in any way. We also do not have any intention of putting businesses to any kind of difficulty," Mr Vardhan said.
The new rules that ban sale of cattle in animal markets for purposes other than farm and agricultural use has led to protests in several states, including Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Mizoram.
He said suggestions "are coming in and if anybody has any reservations, they can send it to the ministry and these suggestions will be looked at objectively."
"Now the matter is again in the Supreme Court," he said. The Madras High Court had on May 30 stayed for four weeks the enforcement of the notification. The order came on a petition challenging the ban as inimical to personal liberty, people's rights to livelihood and an encroachment into matters that are within the domain of the states.