Animal Husbandry Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav faced an embarrassing situation in the State Assembly during question hour on Wednesday when a TRS member cornered and disputed his claim about the effective functioning of government-run Vijaya Dairy.
Replying to a question in the House, the Minister said the government was contemplating to modernize and expand the Vijaya Dairy for which details are being worked out. He said an amount of Rs 13.55 crore was allocated for dairy development in the 2017-18 budget.
Answering several supplementary questions from the members, especially from TRS benches, Srinivas Yadav blamed the previous undivided Andhra Pradesh government for neglecting the government-run dairy at Lalapet due to some understanding and agreement with certain private dairies. However, after the formation of Telangana State, the government has renamed the dairy as Vijaya Dairy in 2016 and initiated a number of measures for its development, he added.
Stating that the demand in Hyderabad City for milk was to the tune of 22 lakh liters per day, the Minister said now the milk supply was being met adequately in tune with the demand. He said though Vijaya Dairy products like milk, butter milk, ice-cream, sweets and so on were being well appreciated all over, the required promotional activity lacked in the past. Now the government is taking up required steps to promote the Vijaya Dairy products in a big way, he added.
Srinivas Yadav said earlier Vijaya Dairy could procure only one lakh liters of milk but now due to incentives being offered by the government to the farmers, the milk procurement has gone up to 4.5 lakh liters. He explained that the government was offering Rs 4 per liter of milk as incentives to the farmers and this has resulted in increasing procurement by Vijaya Dairy. The burden on the government due to the incentives being given to the farmers was to the tune of Rs 72 crore per annum.
The minister also said the government would soon ensure payment to the farmers the moment they supply milk at the village level. Steps are also being taken to provide seed at subsidized rates for growing the required fodder for the cattle. He assured to take the required measures to check adulteration of milk and pointed out that the Health Department would be asked to deal with the issue of adulteration.
TRS member C. Ramesh disputed the claim of the minister that the incentives being given to the farmers has helped increase milk procurement by Vijaya Dairy. He said farmers were availing the incentives and still supplying milk to private dairies. He wondered why the Government was neglecting the development of cooperative milk societies as prevalent in Karnataka. He pointed out that milk and other dairy products of private dairies are much in demand unlike Vijaya Dairy and stressed the need for encouraging cooperative dairy farms.
Another TRS member Srinivas Goud asserted that 50 percent of the milk being supplied are adulterated and wanted required steps to check the same. He also wanted the government to consider in supplying buffaloes to the farmers on the lines of the government’s sheep distribution scheme.
The Minister refuted the charge that the incentives being provided to the farmers was being misused and that the increased milk procurement by Vijaya Dairy was not done due to the incentives being given to farmers. He also sought cooperation of the members in ensuring the Vijaya Dairy gets adequate milk supply by dissuading the farmers from supplying milk to private dairies. (NSS).