Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that Kerala will approach the Union government once again to include dairy sector in the national employment guarantee scheme. The State had already raised a demand in this respect earlier, he said. Mr.Chandy was laying the foundation for expansion of Milma dairy unit at Tripunithura near here on Saturday.

He said dairy sector had registered 30 per cent growth last year thanks to the supportive measures initiated by the government. It would be possible for the State to achieve self-sufficiency in the sector if the pace of growth continued in the coming years.

Dairy Development Minister K.C. Joseph said the State should become self-sufficient in production of milk and eggs during the 12th Plan. A Rs.26-crore plan for setting up a modern packaging plant at the Ernakulam Milma unit would be submitted to the Union government.

Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, K.V. Thomas, who launched new varieties of ‘milk peda’, said that failure in raising production of commodities to meet the demand was one of the key reasons behind food inflation. Excise Minister K. Babu who inaugurated the new website of Milma, said a new 66 kv electrical substation would be set up for the dairy plant. About 15 acres of land was available for the purpose, he said.

K.P. Dhanapalan, MP; Benny Behanan, MLA; Hibi Eden, MLA; P.T. Gopalakurup, Kerala Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Chairman; Eldose Kunnappally, district panchayat president; R.Venugopal, Tripunithura Municipal chairman; M.T.Jayan, Milma Ernakulam union chairman, and others spoke.

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