The State government on Tuesday decided to extend a subsidy of Rs. 5 per litre to federations for the export of milk and Rs. 50 per kg for the export of milk powder. The government will also be tabling a proposal to reduce the Goods and Services Tax on ghee and butter.
Animal Husbandry Minister Mahadev Jankar made the announcement in the Assembly following a meeting between Opposition leaders, ministers, and officers, which was chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. A decision to include milk powder in school nutrition meals was also taken.
“The decision to extend a subsidy of Rs. 50 per kg will continue for the next two months. Once the issue of extra milk is taken care of, the problem of getting low prices will be solved,” Mr. Jankar said.
Despite the announcement, the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) has decided to go ahead with the agitation as the money will not be given directly to the farmers, but to the federations.SSS leader and Lok Sabha MP Raju Shetty had threatened to stop milk supply to Mumbai if demands of the dairy farmers are not met. He had also demanded to deposit a subsidy of Rs. 5 per litre directly in the farmers’ accounts.
Mr. Shetty called the move beneficial to the milk federations and not the farmers. “If subsidy can be given to dairy farmers in Karnataka then why not in Maharashtra?”
An officer from the dairy department said, “Of the total daily milk collection in the State, only 35% is collected by cooperative bodies, which come under the government control, while 65% is collected by private players. It is not possible to collect data of farmers who supply milk to private federations and therefore money cannot be directly deposited in their accounts.”
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