Amul, other dairy co-ops told to open bank accounts for all producers

New Delhi, Dec 23 (IANS) The central government on Friday directed Amul -a dairy cooperative operated by Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation – to ensure bank accounts for all milk producers by December 30 due to “non-availability of funds (cash) to the co-operative banks for making payments”.

It has also asked other co-operatives to ensure opening of 100 percent accounts of milk producers and farmers by January 30 next year.

“GCMMF/Amul has been specifically directed to ensure 100 percent milk producers accounts to be opened by December 30, 2016. Similarly, specific instructions were issued to all the agencies such as National Dairy Development Board, Mother Dairy, Delhi Milk Scheme and all state dairy co-operative federations for ensuring direct payment to milk producers bank account at the earliest,” said a statement.

According to the statement, “certain unintended impacts” have been observed especially in the sectors thriving upon sheer cash transactions following the demonetisation move and the government has noticed non-availability of funds to the co-operative banks for making payments to milk producers and farmers by dairy co-operatives.

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh directed these agencies to take appropriate action to alleviate the problems, said the statement.

“Low penetration of nationalised banks and co-operative bank accounts in rural areas need adequate financial support with appropriate safe guards,” it said.

Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries Secretary Devendra Chaudhry has initiated action “for streamlining the payment system to milk producers and even sale of milk to consumers through cashless transactions primarily”.

As per the statement, there are 1.70 lakh Dairy Co-operative Societies (DCS) at village level, which have 1.6 crore milk producers affiliated with 218 milk unions and about 850 lakh litre milk per day is procured.