Govt allows imports of milk powder, butter at zero duty

In a written reply in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Agriculture Arun Yadav said the annual rate of inflation on milk for the week ended February 5 stood at 11.66 per cent.

"Increase in prices is mainly attributed to increase in cost of production," Yadav said, adding that the milk prices are not regulated by the Centre.

Listing out steps taken to boost milk supplies and stabilise prices, Yadav said: "NDDB has been allowed to import 30,000 tonnes of skimmed milk powder and whole milk powder and 15,000 tonnes of butter, butter oil and anhydrous milk fat at zero per cent duty for 2011-12. This is for reconstitution of milk by State Milk Federations and Metro Dairies".

Earlier this month, the government had banned export of milk powders (including skimmed milk powder, whole milk powder, dairy whitener and infant milk foods.

India, the world's largest milk producer with 112 million tonnes, exported milk powder and casein (extracted from milk) worth Rs 500 crore last fiscal.

Milk prices have risen by about 20 per cent in the retail market and by 12 per cent at the wholesale level in the last one year, adding to the food inflation which is well into the double digit.

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