Milk supply in Mumbai, Pune may be hit as farmers’ protest begins in Maharashtra | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Milk supply in Mumbai, Pune may be hit as farmers’ protest begins in Maharashtra

Milk farmers want a direct subsidy of Rs5 a litre and GST waiver for butter and milk powder.

mumbai Updated: Jul 16, 2018 10:48 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Maharashtra,Pune
Milk cooperatives in western Maharashtra have announced their support, saying they won’t transport milk out of their plants.(HT File Photo)

Demanding a direct subsidy of Rs5 a litre and goods and services tax (GST) waiver for butter and milk powder, milk farmers started halting the supply of milk across Maharashtra on Sunday evening. The stir is likely to hit the supply in Mumbai and Pune.

THE DEMANDS
  • Milk farmers are demanding a direct subsidy of Rs5 a litre and goods and services tax (GST) waiver for butter and milk powder.
  • While the protest was to begin on Sunday midnight, the farmers, under the banner of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana led by MP Raju Shetti and Maharashtra Kisan Sabha led by Ajit Nawale, started blocking tankers a few hours earlier.
  • Milk cooperatives in western Maharashtra have announced support to the protest, saying they won’t transport milk out of their plants.

While the protest was to begin on Sunday midnight, farmers, under the banner of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) led by MP Raju Shetti and Maharashtra Kisan Sabha led by Ajit Nawale, started blocking tankers a few hours earlier.

Milk cooperatives in western Maharashtra have announced their support to the protest, saying they won’t transport milk out of their plants.

Protesters have announced they will block milk tankers coming from Gujarat to ensure success of the plan.

“While the state fixed the procurement price to Rs27, farmers are getting as low as Rs17 a litre. With the fall in the rate of skimmed milk powder, even cooperative dairies are finding it tough to sustain. We are demanding a direct subsidy of Rs5 a litre for farmers, on the lines of the subsidy given in Karnataka, Kerala and Goa for two months,” said Raju Shetti.

Nawale said the state’s announcement of a subsidy of Rs50 a kg for milk powder will not help farmers, considering the drop in the rate of milk powder in the international market. He said this would benefit private brands that are in the business of converting milk into powder.

While the SSS has a strong following in western Maharashtra compared to other parts of the state, Shetti claimed that he had also received support from farmers’ organisations in the neighbouring states of Karnataka and Gujarat. They have promised to not supply milk to Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra, he said.

On Saturday, Shetti had appealed to the farmers to not sell cow milk to dairies. Farmers were told to give away the milk free of cost to poor people and schoolchildren.

Cow milk has been retailing at Rs 40-Rs 42 per litre and buffalo milk at Rs 54- Rs 56 per litre. Last month, dairies reduced prices by Rs4 to face competition from the drop in international price of milk powder.

Maharashtra requires around one crore litres of milk supply on a daily basis, while Mumbai alone requires around 70 lakh litres daily. Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad require around 13 lakh litres of milk daily.

First Published: Jul 16, 2018 10:48 IST