Karnataka CM defends milk price hike, says move will help lakhs of farmers

Siddaramaiah pointed out that good rainfall this year has ensured ample fodder for cattle, due to which milk production has shot up.
Compared to last year, milk production in the state has increased by 15 per cent
Compared to last year, milk production in the state has increased by 15 per cent

BENGALURU: The 500ml Nandini milk packet will now contain 550ml and cost Rs 2 more. It is the state government’s method of handling ample milk production, and keeping both dairy farmers and consumers happy.

Defending the increase in both quantity of milk and price, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that Karnataka’s average milk production has reached close to 1 crore litres per day. This decision of Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) will help lakhs of dairy farmers, the CM said.

Siddaramaiah pointed out that good rainfall this year has ensured ample fodder for cattle, due to which milk production has shot up. “KMF made the decision to handle increased production, making it beneficial for both farmers and consumers. It also ensures that surplus milk production is not rejected at collection centres,” he added.

Compared to last year, milk production in the state has increased by 15 per cent, from a daily average of 90 lakh litres to 99 lakh litres.

In a press statement, the chief minister said there will be no increase in the price of Nandini milk. Instead, each milk packet will now contain an additional 50ml of milk -- half-litre (500ml) packets will be replaced by 550ml packets, and one-litre (1000ml) packets will contain 1050ml milk. Previously, milk was priced at Rs 42 for 1000ml and Rs 22 for 500ml. Now, the 1050ml packet will be sold for Rs 44, and 550ml packet for Rs 24.

Currently, the maximum amount of milk is being used to produce milk powder. “Around 30lakh litres of milk are used daily to produce 250 tonnes of milk powder to meet existing demand. When our government came to power, the average daily milk collection in the state was around 72 lakh litres. We increased the price by Rs 3 per litre, which was sent directly to farmers, making dairy farming more profitable,” he said.

Is the hike to fund guarantees: Oppn to govt

The Opposition BJP and JDS hit out at the Congress State Government for increasing the milk prices. They ridiculed asking if the government was using additional money to fund its guarantees. Union Minister and senior JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy questioned the Congress government if the milk price money goes to dairy farmers or the five guarantees.

Kumaraswamy, a former CM, said the hike was the gift given by the Congress government on the golden jubilee of the Emergency. State BJP president BY Vijayendra said that soon after the results of the recent Lok Sabha polls were declared, there was a demand from several Congress MLAs to withdraw the guarantees. “Finally, this is how the Congress government is taking revenge on the poor citizens for voting against them. Congress government seems to be in a mad hurry to hike the price of every essential commodity to inflict the maximum pain on voters,” he said.

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