For non-redressal of their demands, including that for financial assistance, the dairy farmers of Punjab have announced to open a front against the Mann government by announcing launch of an agitation from May 21.
“Despite holding regular meetings with the government on several issues of dairy farmers, the issues have not been resolved, especially regarding increase of milk prices and demanding financial assistance of Rs 7 per kg, because of which they have been forced to seek financial assistance”, said Daljit Singh Sadarpura, President, Progressive Dairy Farmers Association (PDFA), in a press conference at Chandigarh Press Club.
Sadarpura said that while suggestions are being sought from the general public for the budget to be brought by the Bhagwant Mann government, he also want to suggest that in other states like Haryana Rs 5 per kg, Rajasthan Rs 5 per kg, Bengal Rs 7 per kg, Uttarakhand Rs.4 per kg and Telangana Government Rs 4 per kg are paying as financial assistance to the cooperative dairies these states.
“While the present government was talking about crop diversification and encouraging allied occupations, at that time the government should encourage allied dairy businesses which are of interest to the farmers. The Punjab government should pay MILKFED so that the farmers cooperatives associated with Punjab MILKFED should be able to get out of the financial crisis and at the same time the farmers could get economic benefits. We demand that MILKFED should increase the rate for dairy farmers by a minimum of Rs 7. Because of the drop in milk prices during the pandemic many farmers have become bank defaulters and now feed prices have also skyrocketed,” Mr. Sardarpura further added.
On the other hand, the PDFA Press Secretary, Resham Singh Bhullar said that PDFA will start the agitation demanding an increase in the price of milk from May 21 and after that the agitation will be taken to the villages of Punjab. He said the PDFA has been forced to start this struggle as the government had stalled the dialogue with PDFA. Now, with the announcement of Punjab’s dairy farmers to protest on May 21, the challenges for CM Bhagwant Mann and his govt, have increased.