Responding to the prevailing situation of reported payment problems, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has directed cooperatives to take appropriate action to aliviate the problems of milk producers/farmers.
During the meeting with the official of milk cooperatives such as Mother Dairy, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Fed (GCMMF) /Amul, Delhi Milk Scheme and others, the Minister has directed these cooperatives to ensure 100 percent milk producers accounts to be opened by 30th December, 2016. Similarly, other co-operatives have been directed to ensure the opening of 100 percent accounts of milk producers/farmers by 30th January, 2017.
Consequent upon the Governments decisions of demonetization, certain unintended impacts have been observed especially in the sectors thriving upon sheer cash transactions. In this regards, non-availability of funds to the co-operative banks for making payments to Milk producers/farmers by dairy co-operative against the milk supplied by then came to the notice of the government. GCMMF/Amul has been specifically directed to ensure 100% milk producers accounts to be opened by 30th December, 2016. Specific instructions have been issued to all the agencies such as National Dairy Development Board, Mother Dairy, Delhi Milk Scheme and all state Dairy co-operative federations for ensuring direct payment to milk producers bank account at the earliest. Low penetration of nationalized banks and co-operative bank accounts in rural areas need adequate financial support with appropriate safe guards.
In order to take stock of the prevailing situation, Secretary , Animal Husbandry Dairying and Fisheries, Devendra Chaudhry had accordingly convened a series of meetings and initiated actions for streamlining the payment system to Milk producers and even sale of milk to consumers through cashless transactions primarily.
As per official estimates, there are 1.70 lakh Dairy Co-operative Societies (DCS) at village level having 1.6 crore milk producers affiliated with 218 milk unions. About 850 lakh litres per day Milk is procured including from private dairies. However, the value of milk procured from DCS is to the tune of rupees 120 crore per day. For weekly and 10 days payment cycle the substantive amount is to be disbursed to lakhs of milk producers spread over varied geographical areas.
Using the window of opportunity opened by the demonetization decision, it is high time to accelerate the opening of bank accounts of all those unbanked milk producers to make it cashless and digital sooner than later. Eventually, transparency saving habits, financial enclosure etc. would be benefiting milk producer in multiple ways.
The Ministry claimed that the situation of easing the payment to milk producers is being reviewed and monitored periodically by the Government.