A day after it banned the sale of ‘mawa’ in the run up to the festive season, the Vasundhara Raje government on Thursday withdrew the order after a meeting of top officials decided that the ban was “impractical.”
“The court on Wednesday had only asked us what steps we were taking to curb food adulteration. In a meeting today, we decided to run a campaign to check adulteration instead of imposing a complete ban (on mawa) and withdrew it.
The ban was found to be impractical and unnecessary,” Rajasthan Health Minister Rajendra Rathore told The Indian Express.
The meeting was attended by top officials of the health department.
Rajasthan Food Safety Commissioner B R Meena had on Wednesday conveyed the decision to ban mawa to the High Court, which was hearing a petition seeking court intervention in the sale of adulterated mawa in the state.
By Thursday, the impact of the move could be seen as the prices of milk dropped considerably, as much of the milk is bought by sweetshop owners, who turn it into mawa for sweetmeats.
Several sweetmeats, especially the famous milk cake of Alwar, along with barfi, gulab sakri and lal peda use mawa and large quantities of mawa-based sweetmeats are exported as well.
Rambabu Khandelwal, president of Mawa Vikreta Sangh, said that milk, which is normally sold for Rs 35-40 per litre in Jaipur mandi, was sold for Rs 20-25 per litre on Thursday.
Welcoming the move to withdraw the ban, he said, “Had the government continued with the ban, it would have affected more than 5 lakh people in the business. In Jaipur itself, 5,000-7,000 kilogrammes of mawa is prepared daily,” he said.
Khandelwal was part of the a delegation that met health minister Rathore in connection with the ban.
“We told him that there is adulteration in medicine and there are fake currency notes as well. So a complete ban is not the solution as, after all, they would have to withdraw it one to two months later,” Khandelwal said.
“The last time mawa was banned was around 25 years ago, when it used to be banned annually in months of June-July to ensure that there was sufficient milk in the state,” he added.