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Dairy Development Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil has directed the private and cooperative milk institutes to pay a minimum price of Rs 35 for cow’s milk and prevent milk adulteration. The government’s directive has been welcomed by the Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha and the Milk Producers’ Farmers Sangharsh Samiti. For no particular reason, the milk companies in Maharashtra have started colluding and lowering the purchase price of milk since last one month. While the Union Minister said that milk products have to be imported as the production of milk has decreased in the country due to Lumpy Disease, the milk companies of Maharashtra complained that there has been a deluge of milk in Maharashtra. The state general secretary of Kisan Sabha alleged that the price of milk has been brought down from Rs 38 to Rs 31. It has been done by Ajit Navale.

The whole milk sector has become destabilized due to the frequent occurrence of collusive lowering of milk procurement prices by exaggerating the international developments regarding milk prices and calamities like Kovid. Milk producers are shocked by this. In such a background, milk producers were demanding protection of FRP based on cost of production for milk to ensure minimum stability and protection in terms of milk prices. In reality, however, it was being said by the government that no such intervention was possible regarding the rates. In such a background, it is a welcome thing if the government will now take an intervention role in favor of the farmers regarding the price. Dr. Kisan Sabha and Milk Producers Farmers Sangharsh Committee welcomed the intervention of the milk minister regarding the minimum price. Navale said.

The Minister of Dairy Development has said that a committee is being formed to check whether there are any problems in paying the price of Rs 35 to milk in the prevailing situation. The Milk Farmers Sangharsh Samiti has said that there is no reason to actually need any such committee. Despite what the milk companies in Maharashtra say, the central government itself has announced that the production of milk in the country has decreased due to lumpy disease. The Central Dairy Development Department has also announced that the time may come for India to import dairy products from abroad if necessary. Meanwhile, farmers are raising the question of where the deluge of milk came from in Maharashtra alone. The pretext of milk flood to loot the milk producers is not new to Maharashtra farmers. The Kisan Sabha has demanded that the Minister of Milk Development should understand this matter and start implementing the decision to pay the price of Rs 35 to milk immediately instead of wasting time by forming a committee.

Out of the 1 crore 30 lakh liters of milk collected in the organized sector in Maharashtra, as much as 76 percent of the milk is collected from private milk companies. Regarding the rates on private companies and the looting done by these companies through scams like loyalty subsidy, bogus milometers, there is no law regulating them in Maharashtra, so the government’s intervention is limited in this regard. The government has no legal weapon available to take action against private milk companies if they defy the directive to pay a minimum price of Rs 35 for milk. Against this background, the Kisan Sabha has demanded that a law be made applicable to private and cooperative milk companies to prevent milk purchase rates, adulteration and robbery.

Source : India Posts June 24th 2023

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