BENGALURU: In a flip-flop, the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) issued an order on Monday morning hiking prices of milk and curd by Rs 3 per litre, but put the order on hold by evening after Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai intervened. The KMF order was signed by its chairman Balachandra Jarkiholi, stating that prices will be hiked with effect from November 15.
However, the CM said that a meeting will be convened on November 20 to take a decision on the price revision. The KMF chairman said, “The order was issued based on a decision taken in the board meeting following discussions with milk unions. The farmers have been demanding a hike of Rs 5 per litre for the last 10 months. The Rs 3 per litre hike is the middle path we had taken. In the evening, the CM spoke to me over the phone and told me that the order should be put on hold till November 20.”
KMF officials said that soon after the order, the process of printing the revi sed rates on milk and curd packets had begun, which has to be stopped now. The farmers will also have to be convinced of the decision. Sources in the government told TNIE that the KMF was going the Kerala way, which went ahead with the hike without the chief minister’s approval.
Milk price hike decision on hold till November 20
“The order was issued after discussions with senior leaders in the ruling party. The Gujarat model was also being followed where the prices were hiked much before the elections were announced so that there is no linking or debate,” sources said. A senior KMF official said, “We had issued the order as the CM is not on the Board. In 2011 too, when the Kerala Milk Federation had hiked the prices, the government had asked it put it on hold.
The Kerala Milk Federation, however, challenged the government’s intervention in court, where the court ruled that the Federation can go ahead with its decision. We were confident of convincing the CM at the November 20 meeting. At present, we could still go ahead with the KMF order, as there is no written communication from the CM. However, it has been decided to put the order on hold till November 20.” There are 26 lakh farmers in Karnataka who supply milk through 15 unions. The KMF on an average procures 79 to 80 lakh litres a day. At present, the procurement has come down to 76 lakh litres a day due to the