golden retriever
Golden retriever.Creative commons

While the joy of having a pet is priceless, residents in the urban localities of Punjab will now have to pay tax for keeping domestic animals, the state government said on Tuesday.

According to the latest notification issued by the Department of Local Administration, all pet animals will now be taxed, including cats, dogs, horses, pigs, buffaloes and cows.

Famous television personality Navjot Singh Siddhu heads the ministry under which Local Administration department falls.

For keeping a dog, cat, pig, sheep as a domestic animal, the Punjab residents will have to pay a tax of Rs 250 every year and Rs 500 per year for buffalo, bull, camel, horse, cow, elephant etc.

The government order also said that a "Branding code", identification mark or number will also be given to each animal. A microchip will be embedded in the animal to keep a tag on them.

In fact, pet owners in Punjab will also have to take a licence from the authority to keep a pet. The license will be renewed after every year.

However, it is not yet known as to what how pet owners in Punjab will react.

It is also not known as to how the government will manage the taxation process as Punjab is considered one of the most urbanised states in India.

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This is the first time that a pet tax has been imposed in India.