District milk producers slam government over milk powder subsidy
Milk production and processing organisation (MPPO), Pune, condemned the Maharashtra government’s decision to give a subsidy of Rs 3 to producers of powdered milk.
Addressing a press conference, Vinayak Patil, president, MPPO, Pune, said, “The government has exhibited its state of indecision as it is not the right solution to the problem and only increases the burden on milk producers and processors like us.” Patil said that the government should have directly transferred the minimum support price to the farmer’s accounts, which would benefit them.
The state government, on May 8, had announced a subsidy of Rs 3 per litre for the conversion of excess milk into skimmed milk powder to ensure higher price for milk procured from farmers.
The decision was taken in response to the farmers’ ongoing protest for a minimum support price, ascertained by the state government last year. This latest move of the state government has been rejected by the farmers, who have announced that they will continue their ongoing strike if they fail to benefit from the proposal.
Ajit Nawale, state general secretary of the Maharashtra State Kisan Sabha, who is leading the strike, urged protesters to analyse the proposal and then react. He said, “Subsidising the commodity is certainly not the permanent solution. However, it exhibits the government’s intent to resolve the issue. We have discussed the proposal with a few experts from the field and have sought their opinion on whether this could be of any help to farmers.”
However, if the proposal fails to provide any long term solution and further escalates the tension, we will continue our protest, added Nawale.
Patil, however, raising concerns over the proposal, said, “At a time when the dairies and the milk co-operatives are running on losses, we are finding it difficult to understand why the government has taken such an irresponsible decision.”
The members of MPPO, along with Sharad Pawar, president of Nationalist Congress Party, will be meeting chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on May 12 to discuss the issue in detail.
“We are hopeful of resolving the crisis after meeting CM. However, if there is no positive outcome for us and the farmers, we will take the issue further and will file a case against the state government in the Supreme Court,” he said.