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Council Chairman reserves question on milk rates after govt gives reply based on newsreport


Mumbai:  The Maharashtra government was today left red-faced when Legislative Council Chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar kept a question on milk rates as “reserved” as reply given on the issue was based on a newspaper report.

The directives from the Chairman came after MLCs Sunil Tatkare and Jayant Patil pointed out to what the government wrote on the answer sheet quoting local newspaper reports that milk rates have decreased.

“I will not allow the question to be discussed based on the information from the newspapers. If the answer is not ready then I have no option but to reserve the question,” Nimbalkar said not allowing further discussion on the issue.

Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, Dhananjay Munde had raised the issue of milk farmers being distressed due to reduced milk rates.

“Milk rates have come down to Rs 16 from Rs 24 per litre. There is no green grass available for farmers due to a drought like situation. The Congress-NCP government had given subsidy of Rs two per kg to milk powder which was stopped by the present government. How do you then plan to give relief to these farmers ?” Munde questioned.

In his reply, Minister of State for Dairy Development, Vijay Deshmukh conceded that the subsidy was stopped by their government, and added that a proposal has been sent to the Centre to give a 10 percent subsidy to milk farmers.

However Munde alleged that the Central government has declined the state’s proposal.

“I can assure the House that the proposal is still pending with the Centre. There has been no decision on it as yet,” Deshmukh said.

Tatkare and Patil then objected to the written answer by the government on the issue.

“The government has no information about the rates of the milk. They have said in the answer that local newspapers on October 29, 2014 have said that the milk rate has reduced. Will the government run based on newspaper reports,” Patil questioned.

Tatkare said it is unfortunate that the government relies on newspaper reports to give replies in the state Legislature.

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