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September 10, 2015

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Milk sellers, govt settles price dispute

KARACHI: Traders resumed milk sales at Rs84/litre on Wednesday despite a few dairy farmers' groups remained stick to their demand of charging higher prices, industry officials said.
"Retailers got 100 percent supply from dairy farmers," said Jameel Gujar, president, Milk Wholesalers Association, adding: "the wholesalers have told the farmers group that we will not pay higher price." Gujar said retailers “assumed they are getting supplies at Rs74/litre.”
Earlier, retailers had increased milk price by Rs12/litre to Rs96/litre in the city. They had linked the price-hike with expensive buying from wholesalers. However, after the government intervention they withdrew the hike.
Prior to the meeting, the provincial authorities have detained at least 100 mill sellers on charging higher then the fixed price. The government also imposed fined on them.
"The crackdown against profiteers continued on Wednesday as well," said Hasan Khanzada, public relation officer of Commissioner Karachi. "The government has fixed milk price at Rs70/litre and those would charge higher price would be charged."
"We have sent 86 dairy farmers and milk retailers behind the bars on Tuesday and fined dozens other," he said.
It would be worth mentioning here that retailers have been selling the commodity at Rs84/litre in the city for over a year now, while government kept their rate unchanged at Rs70/litre for over two years now.
Shakeel Baig, member of task force on price control under Commissioner Karachi, said "we have told retailers in clear words to sell milk at Rs70/litre."
Tayyab Mehmood Meo, president, Malir Milk Retailers Association, said almost every shopkeeper have resumed business. "We were not on strike, but had denied taking supply on increased rate from the wholesalers," he said.
Sources said dairy farmers had increased price after the government banned use of injection of medicines for taking higher milk production from buffalos.
"Milk

production has decreased by around 40 percent from each buffalo since farmers stopped injecting medicines," a source said.

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