Dairy industry rejects recommendation of 5 percent duty on milk powder import

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LAHORE: A proposal by Federal Minister for National Food Security, Sikander Hayat Bosan to permit buyers of fresh milk to import milk powder at 5 percent has visibly perturbed stakeholders and dairy farmers, industry sources disclosed on Tuesday.

This proposal was put forth by Mr. Bosan during a consultative meeting called by the ministry last week, revealed a participant, reported The News.

Mr. Bosan had suggested milk powder import quota on lower rates to be extended to buyers of fresh milk from dairy farmers.

Majority of the stakeholders voiced their opposition to this proposal and stated this would open a door for milk power import due to lack of regulatory framework.

The stakeholders told the ministry to not provide credence to this proposal put forth.

However, Pakistan Dairy Association (PDA) reportedly proposed setting a yearly quota system for levying of regulatory duty on milk import in the Finance Bill 2018-19.

PDA recommended regulatory duty of 5 percent on milk being imported under this quota and 60 percent regulatory duty on milk imports not coming under this quota.

As per the proposal, the first-tier allotment i.e. 80 percent quota was to be for dairy buyers and the remaining 20 percent to be allocated to non-dairy buyers.

The second-tier allotment proposal envisaged 80 percent milk buyer quota to be apportioned based on the number of milk collection centers by every company.

The suggestions put forth by PDA were not welcomed by dairy stakeholders, who showed their stringency in this regard.

They believed fresh milk sales had already fallen due to low prices and any recommendation to raise imports of milk powder wouldn’t be welcomed.

Members of Corporate Dairy Farmers Association (CDFA) and various dairy farmers attending the meeting recommended raising regulatory duty on import of milk power up to 100 percent.