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Maharashtra: Rs 225 cr subsidy to milk farmers pending for want of bank account details

Mumbai: The delay in submission of bank account details of dairy farmers in Maharashtra has led to subsidy worth Rs 225 crore getting stuck at the government level, an official has said. The Maharashtra government had taken a decision some months back to provide a subsidy of Rs 5 per for every litre of milk to the co-operative and private producers to convert it into milk powder.

These cooperative societies have already submitted their applications to seek subsidy from the government, but they have been asked to prove that the milk purchased by them is of cow and supplied by dairy farmers only. To provide the subsidy in a transparent manner, the authorities have also asked for bank account details of dairy farmers so that the amount can be transferred directly to them, the official from the dairy development department said.

Once the bank accounts are verified by the authorities, the subsidy amount would be released, he said. The subsidy rate of Rs 5 per litre of milk is applicable from August Everyday there is an excess milk production of about 10 lakh litres. This goes for milk powder production and entails a daily subsidy of Rs 50 lakh, the official said. The average monthly dues of milk cooperatives for powder production are Rs 150 crore, and so far dues worth Rs 225 crore have accumulated, he said.

“The idea is to bring complete transparency into this system. The government wants to know whether the subsidy amount is actually reaching farmers or not, therefore their bank details have been sought,” he said. An official from the Kolhapur district cooperative milk society (popularly known as Gokul) said it is a tough job to collect bank details of milk producers, who are mostly small and marginal farmers hardly having an access to banks. “But to get the subsidy amount, we have to submit the bank details of farmers,” he added.

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