KARACHI: Dairy farmers have announced to increase the price of milk by Rs10 per litre, against the official retail rate fixed by the government. The price will soar from Rs95 per litre to Rs105 per litre of milk, in Karachi, if the increase is implemented. According to the farmers, milk is being supplied at the new price from Saturday.
However, Karachi Milk Retailers Association has rejected the price hike and the retailers maintain that they will continue to sell milk at the price fixed by the government.
According to retailers, the price will remain unchanged until an official notification of the increase is issued by the government. They complained that selling milk at the price set by the farmers would land them in trouble, as they will have to pay fines and face penalties. Officials will raid our shops if we sell milk at the new price but no action will be taken against the farmers, who will benefit the most from the increase in price, they remarked. On the other hand, we will face the wrath of the citizens, complained the retailers.
Meanwhile, Dairy and Cattle Farms Association President Shakir Umar said that it was near impossible to continue to sell milk at the price fixed by the government after the rise in the price of petroleum products. He claimed that dairy farmers had made repeated requests to the civil administration to increase the price of milk officially. However, the price was not increased even after officials from the civil administration carried out an assessment and confirmed that the production cost of the commodity has increased, added Shakir.
Taking notice of media reports about the increase in milk prices by dairy farmers, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shalwani has directed all deputy commissioners (DC) and assistant commissioners to take strict action against retailers found to be selling milk at a price higher than that set by the government. He also ordered the DCs to send him a daily report in this regard. The commissioner asked them to stay on field, ensuring that milk is being sold on only the notified price, and said that all retailers selling milk at higher price will be heavily fined and imprisoned for violating government's orders.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2019.