Farmers protest demanding higher milk prices in Maharashtra

Mumbai: Amidst fall in prices and mismatch between the cost of production and actual price, farmers across Maharashtra, on Saturday farmers launched protests demanding higher price and subsidy from the state government.

The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) members and the Milk Producing farmers have hit the roads. Some of them emptied milk cans as a mark of protest.

Their demands are:

1. The state government must give direct subsidy of Rs 10 per litre to all milk producers so that they get the price of Rs 30 per litre that they were getting before the lockdown. The price that farmers are getting now has collapsed to Rs 17. Meanwhile, milk is continuing to be sold to consumers at Rs 48 per litre.

2. The central government must immediately take back the June 26 notification clearing imports of 10 lakh tonnes of milk powder, which will destroy the lives of milk farmers all over India.

3. The central government must immediately rescind its decision to import milk and milk products from the USA in return for export of generic medicines to that country.

4. An export subsidy of Rs 50 per kg must be given for the large stocks of milk powder that are lying in the country's godowns.

The scheme earlier announced by the state government of buying 10 lakh litres of milk per day was limited to only about 24 per cent of the milk companies and thus failed to benefit farmers.

Hence they demand that instead of the state government buying milk or giving subsidies to milk companies, a direct subsidy of Rs 10 per litre must be transferred to the bank accounts of all milk producing farmers.

Minister of Dairy Decelopment Sunil Kedar had recently held meeting with farmers and other stake holders. However, the government could not put in place any concrete policy to give relief to farmers and therefore they have staged protests today.

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