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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Govt may go solo on ambitious Rs. 280 cr milk production project

Brajendra K Parashar, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, November 22, 2012
First Published: 11:42 IST(22/11/2012) | Last Updated: 11:49 IST(22/11/2012)

Facing lukewarm response from private companies for its ultra-modern, the SP is now planning to run the plant on its own.

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The Samajwadi Party (SP) government had planned to make the ambitious Rs. 280 crore project operational before the Lok Sabha polls-2014 but it is getting delayed with each day.

Despite several meetings, private milk production companies had not shown interest in joining hands with the government in setting up and operating the state’s largest dairy unit proposed to be set up at the Gazariya farmhouse in the state capital.

On Tuesday too, the officials sounded off a private group said to be close to the SP but this one too put forth some ‘unacceptable’ terms and conditions.

Left with no other option, the state government is now mulling to go ahead and set up the plant on its own to fulfill its pre-poll promise.

Admitting that talks with private players were not materialising, agriculture production commissioner Alok Ranjan said government was exploring various alternatives.

It was possible that the government may run the plant by itself by arranging funds from financial institutions, he added.

He said National Dairy Development Board, which was a specialised agency and had prepared the detailed report for the project, might also be asked to set up the plant. “However, a final decision may only be taken at the meeting called by chief secretary, in this regard on Thursday,” he said.

Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had laid the foundation of the dairy unit, in September, with a capacity to produce 5-lakh litre of milk everyday. He also announced interest-free loans to farmers to purchase cows and buffaloes and also early payment of milk dues.

The project was envisaged to be set up on the public-private partnership (PPP) basis and as announced by the chief minister, it was supposed to be complete before the Lok Sabha elections at any cost.

However, private milk producing companies are not ready to invest unless they are allowed to run the plant on their own terms.

The government had talked to several private companies, including giants like Amul, Mother Dairy and Gyan, but none of them are keen to invest in the project.

Sources said the private companies’ terms and conditions included a free hand in fixing the price for purchasing of milk from farmers and selling to the consumers, besides branding it as their own.

“Private companies are showing a commercial approach to the project while the government wants it to be developmental one,” disclosed a senior bureaucrat.


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