Pawar not happy with ban on milk powder export

"Export restrictions have been made (on milk products) and import has been opened. The Ministry is not happy with it...," Pawar said replying to supplementaries in the Rajya Sabha.

The government "would change the policy once availability of milk powder improves in the country," he said, noting that measures have been taken to ensure adequate domestic supply of milk and check rising prices.

The minister pegged the country's milk production at 116.21 million tonnes (MT) in 2011-12 and 172 MT by 2021-22.

Last month, the Commerce Ministry had banned export of milk powders and casein products.

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 food inflation which is ruling at 9.52 per cent for the week ended February 26.

To ensure adequate supply of milk, Pawar said the government has taken initiative to import 30,000 tonnes of skimmed milk powder and 15,000 tonnes of butter/butter oil.

The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has imported milk powder at Rs 180 per kg and its price within the country was more than this, he said.

On impact of climate change on productivity of cattle, the minister said Rs 300 crore has been allocated to conduct a study on the issue. "Certain parts of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have reported on it," he said.

The minister also said steps are being taken to take care of "indigenous breed" of cattle.

Pawar also said that changing climatic condition has had "no serious impact" on production and productivity of Basmati rice in the country. The export of Basmati rice is also on the high side.

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