Nearly 30 private dairy brands from Maharashtra have announced to cut retail prices of cow milk by `4 per litre, leading to a lot of unrest among the cooperative sector. The price cut will become applicable from June 16.
The price of cow’s milk, which has been ruling between `42 per litre to `44 per litre for various brands, will now be cut to `38 per litre to `40 per litre.
While private milk producers have claimed that they have not been able to pay a higher price to farmers as international prices of milk powder have been subdued, they said it has been decided to cut the margin of dealers and pass on the benefits directly to end consumers.
When contacted, Vishnu Hingne, chairman, Pune District Cooperative Milk Producers Association, said that private dairies are at liberty to take such decisions while there is a process involved in cooperative dairies. The decision has to be brought before the board and discussed, he pointed out, adding that since no details were available it would be improper to comment if the cut is good or not. It all depends on the fat content and SNF content of the milk, he said. The cooperative dairies would now meet and take a decision on this issue, he said.
Ajit Navale, general secretary of the All India Kisan Sabha who spearheaded the agitation of dairy farmers a week ago, said that while the decision seems to be in favour of the consumer, the dairies should have first taken the interests of farmers in hand who have been fighting for their rights. Farmers have been seeking better prices for dairies for milk and have been demanding the implementation of MSP of `27 per litre declared by the state government.