Relief package for dairy sector demanded
ISLAMABAD: President Society Watch Khalid Mahmoud on Sunday said the government should also announce relief package for the dairy sector, which is reeling under heavy taxes and unfavorable policies.
Additional taxes have increased cost of doing business by 7%, push up price of processed milk by Rs 6 per litre and reduce its demand by 20%, hurting 600,000 farmers linked to business of processed milk, he said.
Khalid Mehmood said that around $700 million have been invested in the dairy sector in last five years, which needed encouragement but the government has reduced duty on import of milk from SAARC countries to 15% while India has slapped 68% duty on import of milk. Pakistan is producing around 55 million tonnes of milk, production is increasing by 4% per annum while demand in increasing by 15% annually in the country while the global demand is set to increase by 36% in nine years, he said.
He demanded 100% duty on import of skimmed milk and dairy products to safeguard the interests of 40 million dairy farmers in the informal sector otherwise this business will not remain viable for many in Pakistan. “The country has witnessed closure of 3.5 million dairy farms in the last 19 years, a trend which must be reversed through intervention,” he said.