By fixing milk procurement price for dairies at Rs 27 per litre, the state government wanted to provide higher remuneration to farmers and prevent their exploitation, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in the state legislature on Wednesday.
He urged the owners of dairies to curb their own excessive expenditure and mismanagement to bring down establishment costs and share the profits with the poor farmers across state. “The decision to make dairy owners pay Rs 27 per litre for milk purchased from farmers was to improve their livelihood,” Fadnavis said. He, however, said the government was ready to discuss the problems faced by milk federations. He said a meeting led by Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagde with members of all parties would be convened to evolve a consensus on the matter.
Earlier, NCP leader Ajit Pawar had objected to the government order making Rs 27 per litre mandatory for procuring milk from farmers by milk federations. He said it was not practical. The realistic price was much less, Rs 21 per litre, he said. Several Congress and NCP leaders demanded that the government should leave the procurement price of milk from farmers to market forces.
According to the Opposition, dairy operators were incurring loss of Rs 9.71 per litre. They also demanded subsidies and stopping milk supply from other states like Karnataka and Gujarat. They argued that state milk dairies cannot compete with dairy companies like Nandini from Karnataka or Amul from Gujarat.