CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam today defended the Tamil Nadu Assembly's move to hike the price of Aavin milk and said that the rate has been fixed lesser than that of private players.
"Even today, the price of Aavin milk is lesser than that of private players," Panneerselvam told the House replying to a calling attention motion moved by opposition parties on the increase in the price of Aavin milk.
Effective November 1, the price of Aavin milk was increased by Rs. 10 taking it to Rs. 34 a litre.
Political parties that condemn the hike in Aavin milk price offer an impractical solution, he said.
"They want hike in procurement price and at the same time do not want selling price to be increased and want the state to absorb the loss," he said, adding that subsidy can be given only to the poor and not to the rich.
Alhough a large number of affluent sections of people consumed Aavin milk, it is not possible to distinguish the rich and poor consumers, he said and read out the names of prominent leaders including DMK chief Karunanidhi who bought Aavin milk.
"The members should ponder if the government should subsidise such rich consumers," he said.
To ensure that the poor and middle classes are not affected by the hike, the price of Aavin milk has been fixed lesser than that of private players, he said.
He also cited the prevailing price of milk sold by State cooperatives in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat (Rs.38 a litre in all the three States) and that of private players to buttress his point that the price in Tamil Nadu was the lowest.