Milk producers seek import curbs, duty relief on inputs

Milk producers in Gujarat have sought an increase in import duty on milk and milk products so as to discourage imports into the country. They also demanded imposition of export duty on oilmeals and removal of excise duty on oilmeals and other cattlefeeds to ensure easy availability and lower input costs.

In a memorandum submitted to prime minister Manmohan Singh, the dairy farmers have sought urgent action by the central government to keep input costs and prices of milk in the country in check, in view of the current drought-like situation.

They demanded that the government restore the original rate of 15 per cent duty on tariff rate quota (TRQ) of 10,000 metric tonnes on milk powder and 40 per cent duty on butter, butteroil and ghee, with immediate effect.

They also suggested imposition of export duty on oilmeals, de-oiled cake, cattlefeed etc, in order to increase domestic availability of these. They also suggested removal of VAT and excise duty on the molasses used in cattlefeed to bring down input costs.

Besides, they suggested a reduction of income tax on co-operatives and a lower 4 per cent VAT on all value-added dairy products, which will help in improving returns to farmer members.

The memorandum said the government should urgently act and protect dairy farmers in the country, which will help in keeping control over input prices to milk farmer and ultimately check milk prices in the country.