With local dairy farmers announcing a hike in milk prices for bulk buyers such as sweet meat shops, the common man is ultimately set to feel the pinch as the rate of milk-products, such as cheese, khoya and sweets, will go up resultantly.
As per the announcement, bulk buyers will have to shell out ₹7 extra for a litre of milk from May 1. Punjab Halwai Association members stated that the inputs costs for sweets have already increased due to the skyrocketing rates of refined ghee, dry fruits etc, and the hike in milk prices will further deepen the crisis for this sector.
Association president Narinderpal Singh Pappu said that dairy owners had increased the price of milk by ₹2 in the month of March. “With the latest rate revision for bulk buyers (of milk), we will have increase the price of milk products and sweets proportionally. We won’t increase our profit margins, but will have to recover our inputs costs,” he said.
Further explaining the math, Pappu said, “It takes around 5 litre of milk to produce 1 kg of cheese. If the price of 1 litre of milk increases by ₹7, then we will have to increase the price of cheese by ₹35 per kg. In the recent months, despite a hike in rates of raw material, we did not increase the rates of our products and instead had reduced our profit margins. But if we continue doing this, our survival will take a hit,” said Pappu while adding that they are in talks with the dairy farmers over the issue.
Parveen Kharbanda, the owner of Lyallpur sweets in Model Town, said that the cost of transportation has increased due to skyrocketing fuel prices. “With this, the cost of raw material is also increasing, putting additional burden on sweet shop owners, who have already suffered huge losses due to the pandemic. At present, cheese is available at ₹360 per kg, but the price will reach around ₹400 per kg, after the rate of milk is revised by dairy owners.”
Hike due to rising cost of feed: Dairy farmers
Meanwhile, Haibowal dairy owners’ association president Paramjit Singh Bobby said the rates of milk for sweet shop owners are increased every year. As the dairy farming sector is suffering losses due to skyrocketing prices of feed, we are forced to increase the price of milk.
Association spokesperson Harcharan Singh said the rate of wheat straw, which is the main feed for cattle, has increased from ₹300 per quintal to ₹650 per quintal as compared to last year. Similarly, the rate of corn etc has also increased. There is an overall increase of 30% in the input cost of farmers.
“It is expected that the rate of wheat straw will go up to ₹1,500 per quintal in the coming days due to shortage in the market. Many of the dairy owners have already shut down their units,” said Harcharan Singh.
Public a harried lot
Meanwhile, residents stated that inflation is already burning a hole in their pockets and the increase in the cost of cheese and other sweets will add to the financial burden.
Gurjeet Singh, a resident of Dugri, said residents can avoid sweets, but cheese is part of the staple diet for most families. “Even middle-class families are facing financial crisis due to the pandemic and inflation is further taking a toll on them. It will be difficult for a person to run a household in the coming time,” said Singh.
Source : The Hindustan times 26th April 2022