Schoolkids may get milk 5 days a week

Siddaramaiah says government will consider extending 'Ksheera Bhagya'

Schoolkids may get milk 5 days a week

The State government will consider providing children at government schools and
anganwadis nutritious milk five days a week under the ‘Ksheera Bhagya’ scheme, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Monday.

“The Ksheera Bhagya scheme was introduced in Karnataka to ensure children do not suffer from malnutrition. The KMF has made a proposal to extend the scheme to five days a week.

“If the proposal is implemented, the exchequer will have to bear the additional burden of Rs 400 crore. We’ll discuss the issue at the Cabinet meeting, keeping students’ interests in mind,” he said at an event organised by the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) to mark the World Milk Day.

The chief minister also said that the KMF was collecting about 67.5 lakh litres of milk a day but there was a dearth of processing units to store half of the procured milk. “I request people to buy and consume milk and milk products instead of fizzy drinks. The 16,000 children who were provided milk under the Ksheera Bhagya scheme since last year are no longer malnourished,” he stated.

KMF Managing Director, S N Jayaram, said Karnataka was the only state where farmers were getting a subsidy of Rs four for every litre of milk.

“The government provided Rs 321 crore in 2013-14 and Rs 520 crore in 2014-15 under the Ksheera Bhagya scheme. This year, the allocation has gone up to Rs 550 crore. Milk consumption should increase in our State and this is the only way malnutrition can be eradicated,” he said.

The chief minister said that as milk production increased, the government would raise the subsidy.

Meanwhile, Law Minister T B Jayachandra, who was present on the occasion, released ‘Mango Shrikhand’, the KMF’s 61st product under the brand name ‘Nandini’.

Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural and Ramanagara Districts Co-operative Milk Producers’ Societies Union Ltd, or Bamul, also conducted a host of activities to mark the day. Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy took part in the event.

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