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KMF seeks hike in milk price, Bommai in dilemma

The Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) has appealed to the State government to increase the price of milk by Rs 3 per litre. With this, the price of milk products, including ghee, butter, curd and buttermilk, is also expected to increase.

The demand is not new, with KMF making repeated pleas for an increase in rates. In Karnataka, there are over 27 lakh dairy farmers who supply milk to over 14,300 milk cooperative societies. Every day, they supply over 88 lakh litres of milk, which are also sent to neighbouring states.

A senior official told TNIE that they had given a memorandum to CM Basavaraj Bommai a few weeks ago. “We met him along with KMF Chairman Balachandra Jarkiholi again two days ago, and the CM has responded positively. We are expecting him to approve the revised slab soon,” he said. At present, Nandini milk (pasteurised) is Rs 38 per litre, and is likely to be hiked to Rs 41 per litre.

According to officials, there is pressure from various milk federations to increase the price of milk. In Karnataka, there are 14 unions demanding a price hike. “Milk in Karnataka is cheaper compared to other states, including milk supplied by Anand Milk Union Limited (AMUL), the Gujarat government’s cooperative society. If we compare our prices with those of other states, there is a difference of up to Rs 10 per litre. The hike the Federation is demanding will go to farmers,” the official said.

However, Bommai seems to be caught between the devil and the deep sea. “Farmers are demanding an increase in price, which is expected to help the 27 lakh families of dairy farmers. The CM is hesitant as the BBMP polls are expected to be announced. The price rise might affect votes as Nandini milk from KMF is supplied across Bengaluru. That is why he is taking time, but will approve an increase of at least Rs 2 per litre,” the official said. Balachandra Jarkiholi was not available for comment.

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