Relief package for dairy sector demanded

ISLAMABAD: President Society Watch Khalid Mahmoud on Sunday said government should also announce relief package for dairy sector reeling under heavy taxes and unfavourable policies.

Additional taxes have increased cost of doing business by seven percent, push up price of processed milk by Rs 6 per litre and reduce its demand by 20 per cent hurting six hundred thousand farmers linked to business of processed milk, he said.

Khalid Mehmood said that around 700 million dollars have been invested in the dairy sector in last five years which needed encouragement but government has reduced duty on import of milk from Saarc countries to 15 percent while India has slapped 68 percent duty on import of milk. Pakistan is producing around 55 million tonnes of milk, production in increasing by 4 pc per annum while demand in increasing by 15 percent annually in country while the global demand is set to increase by 36 percent in nine years, he said.

He demanded 100 percent duty on import of skimmed milk and dairy products to safeguard interests of 40 million dairy farmers in the informal sector otherwise this business will not remain viable for many. Pakistan has witnessed closure of 3.5 million dairy farms in the last nineteen years, a trend which must be reversed through intervention, he said.