Dairy stir ends as Maharashtra govt hikes milk price to Rs25 a litre

Dairy farmers in Maharashtra today called off their four-day-old strike after the state government announced a Rs2 increase in its procurement price to Rs25 per litre, paving way for regular supply of the essential commodity.

Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader and MP Raju Shetti, who spearheaded the agitation, met chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in the evening and announced the lifting of the four-day old stir.
The decision was announced after deliberations on the issue among Fadnavis, assembly speaker Haribhau Bagade, Leader of the Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil (Cong), Ajit Pawar (NCP) and representatives of the co-operative and private bodies of milk suppliers and processors.
Milk will be purchased from farmers at the new rate of Rs25 per litre from 21 July, as per the government's announcement on the floor of the assembly.
Federations of milk suppliers and processors' bodies are supposed to buy milk from farmers at the rate.
Speaking in the Assembly this evening, Dairy Development Minister Mahadev Jankar said, "Subsidy would not be given to milk sold in pouches... For the milk not sold in pouches, Rs5 per litre conversion subsidy would be given."
"The subsidy would go to either the milk supplying body or the one converting it," he said.
The minister clarified that milk powder producers availing Rs5 per litre subsidy would not be entitled to get export subsidy.
On July 10, the government had announced that milk powder and milk would be getting incentive subsidies of Rs50 (per kg) and Rs5 (per litre), respectively, for export.
"Those milk powder producers, who will avail Rs 5 per litre subsidy, won't get incentive subsidy for export", the minister said.
Welcoming the decision, Shetti told reporters that the Rs25 minimum rate itself is a relief to farmers who currently get Rs14 to Rs20 per litre. But, he said, the Sanghatana will make sure that farmers actually get the rate.