India

Withdraw GST on milk products, implement FRP for milk: DFFI

“The milk production increases year after another, yet the income of the families is falling.”

“The milk production increases year after another, yet the income of the families is falling.” | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

Dairy farmers from States such as Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala, held protests here on Wednesday, urging the Centre to revoke the decision to impose 5% GST on dairy products, and 18% GST on dairy machinery. The farmers, under the banner of Dairy Farmers Federation of India (DFFI), also sent a memorandum to Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Parshottam Rupala, asking him to help the households engaged in dairy production in the country.

The GST, the absence of a Fair & Remunerative Price (FRP) and rising costs of green fodder, is going to adversely impact small dairy farmers, who constitute 75% of nine crore households engaged in dairy production in India, the DFFI said, in a statement. Dairy farmers held similar demonstrations at local milk booths, cooperatives, and district collectorates in States such as, Karnataka, Telangana, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana rejecting the new GST, the DFFI claimed.

The DFFI said in their memorandum to Rupala, that the sector is characterised by the concentration of petty producers, with 75% of the rural households owning 2-4 cows. “Even after being one of the largest sectors and the livelihood of millions, the majority of them are marginal, landless and poor. The milk production increases year after another, yet the income of the families is falling. In the dairy sector, fodder and feed costs takes the largest share in rural households. They cost more than 75% across all livestock,” they said in the memorandum.

Occupational shift

The farmers said increasing inflation and fodder prices has pushed them to shift to other occupations. They said the recommendations of the GST Council will affect both the farmers and consumers. They told the Minister that the move will have an impact on small and middle cooperatives and the dairy entrepreneurs operating in milk production and value addition. “These recommendations will hit the cooperatives and small dairy farmers, and pave way for the monopoly control of the diary sector in India by the large corporate houses,”the memorandum added.

They urged the Minister to declare ₹45 per litre for milk as minimum FRP for the time being. “Reduce the cost of production by adding a special clause in the rule of MNREGA to provide subsidy of 200 days wage per year to all the small dairy farmers having minimum two cows/buffaloes - akin to the model implemented by the LDF Government of Kerala, through the Ayyankali Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme,” they said.

“Even after being one of the largest sectors and the livelihood of millions, the majority of them are marginal, landless and poor”Dairy Farmers Federation of India


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Printable version | Jul 28, 2022 4:55:07 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/withdraw-gst-on-milk-products-implement-frp-for-milk-dffi/article65690029.ece