Free Press Journal

Maharashtra government hikes milk purchase rate, but consumers won’t have to suffer


Mumbai: The Maharashtra government hiked the procurement rate of milk by Rs 3 to help milk dairy farmers. However, the burden of this hike will not be rubbed off to the consumer as the private, cooperative and government-run milk dairies have decided not to increase the sell rate.

Meanwhile, the state has decided to appoint a regulator to control on price rate of milk. The legislature will be brought in the upcoming session.

The meeting between chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, minister for dairy development Mahadev Jankar and minister of state for agriculture Sadabhau Khot was held on Monday morning. The decision to increase rate of procurement of milk from producer farmer was one of the demands made by the striking farmers.

“The rate for cow and buffalo milk will be increased by 3 rupees. The farmer will get Rs 27 instead of Rs 24 for cowmilk and they will get Rs 36 instead of Rs 33 for buffalo milk,” said Jankar. Jankar said Fadnavis was of the view that despite the hike in the procurement rate the consumer must not be affected. “We spoke with all stakeholders including all the cooperatives, whether private or government run dairies, have agreed not to increase the sell rate of milk,” Jankar said.

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MoS Khot said the state wants to minimise the gap of profit in milk from the existing which is at Rs 10. The milk seller incurs expenses which include transport, chilling, interest on loan and electricity including milk rates that are given to the farmers and till now they have not crossed Rs 33.30 a litre, which is not feasible for them.

“The price of milk that the consumer incurs varies from Rs 42 to Rs 60 in different cities. This is too much and the state plans to regulate the profit margin by introducing a regulator who will decide and keep an eye on the sell rate,” said Khot. He added that the state will bring the bill in the upcoming monsoon session of the state legislature.

Meanwhile, Ranjeet Singh Naik-Nimbalkar, the chairman of Swaraj industries in Satara district, said all milk sellers have decided to bear the losses that will happen due to the increase in procurement rate. “All distributors, retailers and dealers will bear the loss margin by 3 rupees per litre and we have taken such decision unanimously to protect the interests of the consumers as well as farmers,” said Nimbalkar.