Dairy farmers have challenged the writ of the city government - again - and raised milk prices by six rupees per litre. City Administrator Lala Fazlur Rehman had assured that milk would only be sold at the price fixed by CDGK, which was Rs60.
After dairy farmers announced the increase, the administrator along with EDOs met on Saturday. He promised that prices would not be increased, but did not disclose any price controlling mechanism that he would apply.
Nonetheless, he warned dairy farmers that action will be taken as only the CDGK is authorised to fix prices of dairy items.
Rehman has asked retailers to not buy expensive milk for the next two days which would compel the wholesalers to supply milk at Rs60 per litre, which is a price that has been worked out by members of civil society and consumer associations.
However, the Karachi Dairy Farmers Association’s Haji Akhtar Ali Nagori told The Express Tribune that more than 2,000 dairy farmers gave him two options: announce the Rs6 increase or leave the association. “If the CDGK plans to arrest me, then 6,000 dairy farmers would offer themselves for arrest as well. The city cannot bring down the prices now.”
Meanwhile, the city government’s spokesman told The Express Tribune that the CDGK cannot bring the prices down but it can only issue challans to milk retailers.
Nagori said the cost of milk production has surged to Rs71 but the dairy farmers are not increasing rates accordingly because they sympathise with the people. “Dairy farmers are from the masses and are equally affected by the increase in petroleum and food prices.”
He argued that the prices of packed and powdered milk have also increased but the city administrator does not ask multinational companies to lower them.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2011.
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