Sikkim Milk Union terms allegations baseless and intentionally wrong

SUMMIT REPORT

Gangtok, 12 Sept:

Sikkim Co-operative Milk Producer Union Limited (SCMPUL) today termed the allegations made by some dairy farmers against the Union as baseless and, factually and intentionally wrong.


In a press release issued today, SCMPUL has said that these false allegations had intent to cause damage to the reputation and market of the Sikkim Cooperative Milk Producers Union Ltd and threaten the livelihood of the over 12000 dairy farmers in the Union.


It may be recalled that a section of dairy farmers in the state had held press conferences on 03 and 09 Sept stating that the quality criteria set by the Union are hard to meet andthat village milk producer’s cooperative societies are getting paid less [average of Rs 28- Rs 30]. They had also alleged that payments are not being made before the 5th day of every month as mandated.


In response, the Sikkim Milk Union has today said that it is an organized and regulated cooperative milk institution, which has to follow the norms, regulations, etc., and cannot procure and trade below standard milk.

“Further it is to inform you that the official present minimum acceptable quality for the milk is 3.5% Fat and 7.5% SNF. The Village milk producer’s cooperative societies in the state get the price of Rs. 40/- per Kg for 3.5% Fat and 7.5% SNF specifications and the minimum price Rs67.63 per kg for 7.0% Fat and 9.5% SNF specification. This rate includes Rs1/- provided as society commission to meet their operational needs. Thus, farmers procurement price to Rs39/- per kg for 3.5% Fat and 7.5% SNF specifications. Average milk with 4.3% fat and 8.3% SNF get the price of Rs. 45.2 per kg,” the release informs.

The Union has further said that dairy farmers in Sikkim are getting one of the highest milk procurement prices in the country for the milk quality supplied to any milk union in the country. In addition to the milk price, the incentive of Rs8 per liter from the Government of Sikkim is the highest milk incentive paid by any Government in the Country, the Union adds.

On the allegation of late payment, the Union has said that there is no possibility that the village milk producer’s cooperative societies receive milk payment less than that of what they supplied.

“As per present system, all Diary Cooperative Societies are getting milk payment before 5th day of every month from the Sikkim Co-operative Milk Producer's Union Ltd Delay payments beyond 6th day of any month do not happen except due to bank holiday. The claim that delayed payment is made by Sikkim Milk Union is utterly wrong and baseless,” the Union has said.

The Union has further countered that the persons who gave the press conference, have admitted in the press conference that they have not approached the management with their problems, so their allegations were only meant to defame dairy farmers.