The Maharashtra government today decided to increase the milk procurement prices by Rs three per litre for the benefit of farmers, although the retail rates would remain unchanged. The new procurement rates will come into effect from Wednesday. State Dairy Development Minister Mahadev Jankar made this announcement here today. "The new rates will come into effect from June 21. But there will be no change in the milk rates for the retail customers," Jankar said in a press conference here today. "The decision is aimed at benefiting the farmers, but its burden will not be passed on to retail customers in the state," he added. The decision to increase the prices was taken today based on the recommendations made by a committee appointed by the state government to revise the milk procurement rates. "As per the new rates, cow milk will now be purchased by dairies at Rs 27 per litre as against Rs 24 per litre previously. Similarly, buffalo milk will now be purchased at Rs 36 per litre as against Rs 33 per litre," Jankar said. A senior official from the state Dairy Development Department said the state government receives funds up to Rs 25-30 crore from the Centre for various works in the field of dairy development. "Now these funds will be passed on to the dairies, which will purchase milk at higher rates, but sell it to the customers as per the existing rates. These funds will fill the gap created after the price hike," the officer said.