Here’s how AP’s dues to Karnataka are depriving infants & pregnant mothers of good nutrition
Over 20 lakh children under the age of six are likely to be deprived of milk which is given under Sampoorna Poshana Scheme as the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) has expressed its inability to supply milk to Anganwadis in Andhra Pradesh.
According to the milk federation, the AP Dairy Development Cooperative Federation is yet to clear dues to the tune of Rs. 130 crore. The AP Government procures about 110 lakh litres of milk from KMF. Nandini Dairy about four months back had hiked the price of milk by Rs 5. The AP government has asked them to continue the old price till May 2021 against advance payment.
Costs up & dues upto Rs. 130 crore remain unpaid
“The KMC has been doing so since the Sampoorna Poshana scheme is a noble social cause. But now that the cost of corrugated boxes and diesel prices have shot up, KMF says that it cannot supply at the old rate and also wants that the dues of Rs. 130 crore be cleared immediately. Despite a number of letters and meetings, the milk supply price has not been revised,” KMF Managing Director B.C. Sateesh said in a letter to Praveen Prakash, Principal Secretary to the AP Chief Minister.
Sateesh said the Karnataka milk unions have been incurring heavy losses due to higher input costs, coupled with the hike in fuel prices, which severely dent their working capital and profitability.
“The milk unions have informed us that they will not be able to supply milk at the existing price. Also, delayed payment (from AP government) is leading to irregular payment to the milk producers,” the KMF Managing Director pointed out.
Official sources here said the KMF MD had previously written many letters to Women and Child Development Principal Secretary A R Anuradha on the issue but to no avail. “We have raised the bills and submitted them to the Finance Department. But the payments are not cleared for long, though tokens have been issued from the Comprehensive Financial Management System,” the official sources said.
TEJASWINI PAGADALA is an independent communications consultant. She has previously worked with the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s Office as the Communications Officer where she has written English speeches for the CM, managed English media communication from the CMO and handled social media accounts of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and the Government.