Indian Dairy Assn plea to TN on 58 lakh litre milk loss during Covid-19
The Indian Dairy Association (Tamil Nadu Chapter) has urged the state government to free up movement of vehicles in the backdrop of over 58 lakh litre of milk going unutilised daily, which is a major loss for the dairy farmers during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. The association also made representations on other issues faced by the farmers which include working capital for private dairies, cycle of artificial insemination in cows and concession on GST or tax holiday.
The association which represents the private sector dairy, mostly the small companies; will have to stop procuring milk from farmers due to the loss in retail sales. The potential loss of income to farmers is about Rs 18.76 crore a day just during the lockdown, says the association based on NDDB figures of milk production.
According to the association, the surplus has been generated due to drop in daily sales following the lockdown. It has also urged for freeing up movement of vehicles along the entire milk logistics chain to restore operations and government purchase of dairy products to infuse liquidity into the sector.
C P Charles, dairy consultant and member of Indian Dairy Association (TN Chapter) says, “After the lockdown, for the short-term we need to focus on arranging working capital for private dairies through banks at a lower interest with adoptable guidelines, deferring statutory payments for next six months, extending concession on payment of utility charges, waiver of penalty on lower power factor, facilitating sale of accumulated stock of SMP & butter, arranging motivation and technical programmes for the employees and entrepreneurs to combat such havocs in future.”
While talking about the milk producers, he said, “Milk producers are missing one cycle of artificial insemination for their cows. This has economic constraints on them in terms of productivity and production and consequently affects the business plan of the industry. The government may accelerate the AI delivery mechanism after the lockdown. Also, the availability of feed & fodder is a major problem and it affects the health and nutrition of dairy cows. The government may also consider supporting the farmers appropriately.”
He added, “And for the long term, to take up with Central government, the concession on GST (e.g., ghee, butter, powder) or tax holiday for next two years – selling price can be downsized so that the expected lower purchase power of the consumer could be addressed. Consider SFM & UHT milk for permanent exemption from GST. Also, bring dairy industry under orange category with regard to ETP. Treat private dairies on par with coop dairies in all aspects including capital infusion, term loan at concessional interest, availing grant/subsidy, tax holidays for green field projects, etc.”
Meanwhile, during the lockdown, the cooperative sector sales have dropped to about 25 lakh litre and that of private sector to 32 lakh litre, which account for the 58 lakh litre surplus.
Source : fnbnews