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Business News/ Economy / Amid farmers' protest, THIS state announced hike in MSP on cow, buffalo milk
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Amid farmers' protest, THIS state announced hike in MSP on cow, buffalo milk

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu announces hike in MSP for cow and buffalo milk while presenting the annual Budget on Saturday.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu addresses the house during the Budget Session of the state Legislative Assembly, in Shimla. (ANI)Premium
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu addresses the house during the Budget Session of the state Legislative Assembly, in Shimla. (ANI)

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu announced on Saturday an increase in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for milk. He made the announcement while presenting the annual Budget of 58,444 crore for 2024-25.

Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, who also holds the finance portfolio, hiked the MSP of cow milk from 38 to 45 per litre and buffalo milk from 47 to 55 per litre. 

"Himachal is the first state to give MSP on milk," he was quoted by PTI as saying. "Making farmers and cattle herders prosperous is the priority of our government," the Chief Minister said in a post on X.

He said liabilities of all milk cooperative societies will be waived off and 150 crore will be spent on strengthening infrastructure for milk procurement and its processing.

The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister announced Rajiv Gandhi Prakriyat Kheti Yojna, under which 36,000 farmers — 10 farmers from every panchayat — will be trained in natural farming techniques.

Sukhu's statement came amid the protest launched by thousands of farmers who are demanding law guaranteeing a minimum support price (MSP) for all crops and a doubling of farmers’ income among other key things.

Sukhu further said universal cartons will be introduced for apple packaging and horticulture tourism will be encouraged. "Farmers were worried due to the disaster, they were wondering how their apples would reach the markets. Then we decided that we will not let even a single apple of the farmers rot....Due to the strong will of our government, all the apples were delivered to the markets without any hindrance," Sukhu said.

He reiterated the state government's resolve to make Himachal Pradesh a green state by 2026. He said the state government announced a special package of 4,500 crore for disaster-affected people after last year's monsoon, and added that the Centre had not given any special package.

ALSO READ: What happened to govt-appointed panel on MSP formed after 2020-21 farmers protest?

Sukhu blamed the "financial mismanagement of the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state" for Himachal's total debt, which, he said, stands at 87,788 crore.

According to PTI, Sukhu said a sum of 22,406 crore was due to Himachal from the Centre that included a proposal of 9,906 crore post-disaster need assessment sent to the Centre, 4500 crore due from Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) as power arrears, and 8,000 crore employees' contribution under the pension scheme.

ALSO READ: MSPs, dearness allowance raised ahead of elections

Other announcements included setting up of the first modernised de-addiction and rehabilitation centre at Kandaghat in Solan district, appointment of 6,000 nursery teachers, and monthly review meeting of schools.

He also said 327 old diesel buses will be replaced with electric buses and vehicle scrap centres will be established in the state. The CM also announced to increase the daily wages of MGNREGA workers by 60 from 240 to 300 per day.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Published: 17 Feb 2024, 03:56 PM IST
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