The government Monday announced a hike in the procurement rate of milk (cow and buffalo) by Rs 3 a litre and assured consumers that the burden of the increase would not be passed on to them.
Hiking the milk procurement rate was one of the demands farmers had raised during their recent strike. The hike will come into effect from June 21. The procurement price for cow milk has been increased from Rs 24 to Rs 27 a litre and buffalo milk from Rs 33 to Rs 36.
Currently, retail/sale price of cow milk is Rs 37-Rs 45 a litre and buffalo milk is Rs 55 a litre. Dairy is a side occupation of many farmers across the state. Making the announcement Monday, Dairy Development and Animal Husbandry Minister Mahadev Jankar said the hike would not affect retail or sale prices.
“The decision has been taken to give relief to farmers who are in distress, while not putting the burden on the common man. This year, there has been a hike of Rs 4 (by Rs 2 two times) in the procurement as well as sale price of milk. However, this time the government will not increase the sale price, despite paying more to farmers,” added Jankar.
However, sources said that the retail prices of milk might rise in the coming days if co-operatives, especially those run by private milk brands, decided to oppose the decision.
Jankar said, “Even private brands will not be able to hike the retail price of milk. Those not abiding by the government’s decision will face stringent action.” Jankar added that the state was planning to bring all co-operative dairies under the umbrella of government rules and regulations to ensure uniformity in milk prices in future.
Most of the milk supply to cities like Mumbai and Pune comes from co-operative dairies that source it from farmers, especially in the western, northern and central Maharashtra.