Calcutta, Oct. 10: It’s official now. The government has decided to raise packaged-milk prices across the state by Re 1 per litre from October 15.
The decision to hike milk prices was taken during an internal meeting of the government in Writers’ Buildings today and a circular will shortly be issued to this effect.
“Following the skimmed milk powder crisis across the country and the consequent price rise of this essential ingredient of packaged milk, the cost per litre of milk production has gone up by Rs 2,” said West Bengal animal resources development minister Anisur Rahaman.
“The dairies are suffering daily losses and to minimise the burden on them, we have decided to hike milk prices by Re 1 a litre,” he told The Telegraph this evening.
In less than two months, prices of skimmed milk powder have shot up from around Rs 70 a kg to over Rs 100. All the dairies in the state — Mother Dairy, Metro Dairy and the five government’s fully-owned dairies — have run out of stock.
Besides placing a 300-ton order with the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation, better known as Amul, and sending an SOS to the National Dairy Development Board, the state government is in talks with several private dairies in north India to avert a crisis in Bengal.
The minister added that the government would review milk prices in mid-November and announce a rollback if skimmed milk powder prices come down.