A day after Milkfed,Punjab state co-operative unit,announced a hike in the prices of milk and milk products,the Punjab Halwai Association on Friday said they would be meeting shortly to discuss an increase in the prices of sweets.
Criticising the Milkfed hike the third this year the association said if the state government did not control the prices,they would have no option but to increase the prices of sweets ahead of the festival season by Rs 10-20 a kg.
Narinder Singh,president of the Punjab Halwai Association,said: Apart from milk,prices of ghee and cheese have also increased. Prices of other items such as dry fruits and refined oil are also skyrocketing. Our association will meet next week to decide on hiking prices of sweets.
As per Charanjit Singh,Ludhiana president of the association,though not many use Verka milk for making sweets,many dairy associations too have hiked prices after the announcement by Verka. Purchasing full cream milk for Rs 40 a kg is not at all viable for us. The state government is doing nothing but increasing inflation. Ultimately,the hike will be passed on to consumers, he said.
Rakesh Kumar,of Khushi Ram and Sons,said,Farmers have been given three hikes in one year by Milkfed just because private companies are giving more prices to farmers. Hence,Milkfed is falling short of milk. The co-operative unit was giving Rs 480 per kg fat to farmers which has been hiked to Rs 490 per kg fat. Hence,the extra payment has been passed on to the consumers.
Following the hike,Verka,the brand of Milkfed,full cream milk has been priced at Rs 40 a kg against Rs 38 a kg while milk with 4% fat has been priced at Rs 37 a kg against Rs 36 a kg.
Last time,the halwais had hiked the prices of their products during the Raksha Bandhan season in 2012.