MAHARASHTRA : The Maharashtra government will soon come out with a scheme to strengthen dairy farmers financially, cabinet minister Sunil Kedar said on Tuesday amid protests in the state for a hike in milk procurement prices.
Kedar held a meeting with representatives of various farmers' bodies, including BJP leader Haribhau Bagade, ex-state minister Sadabhau Khot and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader Raju Shetti.
Though the meeting remained inconclusive, the animal husbandry and dairy development minister said a decision on various demands of farmers will be taken during a state cabinet meeting.
Earlier in the day, demonstrations were held in Sangli, Kolhapur, Ahmednagar, Nashik, Beed and other districts for a hike in milk procurement prices by ₹5.
Milk producers also demanded transfer of benefit directly into their accounts and also sought the export subsidy of ₹30.
Cancellation of goods and services tax (GST) on milk products and withdrawal of the Centre's move to import 10,000 tonnes of milk powder were other prominent demands.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Kedar said the MVA government will not let daily farmers suffer.
"Some people (representatives of dairy farmers) demanded a subsidy of ₹5 while some sought a subsidy of ₹10. Some demanded a subsidy for exporting (milk) powder while some wanted that money be sent directly into farmers' accounts," he said.
The minister said the government will work out a scheme with a focus on farmers.
Kedar added he had convened the meeting not in view of the protests, but keeping the COVID-19 situation in the state in mind.
He said though nobody knew how the situation arising out of the COVID-19 crisis pans out, the state government will ensure that farmers won't suffer.
"It is our view that farmers must get support, survive...his cow too should get fodder. I assure that farmers won't suffer financially. The state government will soon come out with a scheme to strengthen you financially," he added.
Khot told reporters that farmers will stage a bigger protest if the government fails to take appropriate decisions.
"We will decide about the direction of the protest in two days," he added.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.