NCP chief and former agriculture minister Sharad Pawar on Thursday opposed any government plan to import milk products such as butter and ghee, contending that it would impede the revival of the dairy sector.
In a letter to Parshottam Rupala, the Minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Pawar referred to media reports about the government’s ”intention” to import dairy products such as butter and ghee.
”Any decision by the central government in this regard will be totally unacceptable because the import of these products will directly affect the income of the domestic milk producers,” Pawar said.
He said the dairy farmers have recently come out of the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis and such a decision will severely impede the sector’s revival process.
”My concern may please be heeded. I shall be happy if the matter is looked into and the ministry deters itself from taking any decision to import the milk products,” Pawar said.
Animal Husbandry and Dairy Secretary Rajesh Kumar Singh had said the country’s milk production remained stagnant in fiscal 2022-23 against an 8-10 per cent increase in domestic demand. He said the stocks of butter and ghee were lower than the previous year.
The government will intervene to import dairy products like butter and ghee, if required, after assessing the stock position of milk in southern states, where the flushing (peak production) season has started now, Singh said.