Karnataka Milk Price Hike Sparks Political Outrage

The Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) announced a milk price hike effective June 26, prompting political backlash. The Siddaramaiah-led government denies involvement in KMF's independent decision. Increases in fuel taxes have compounded public outcry, with opposition parties accusing the government of burdening the state's poor and middle-class citizens.

PTI | Bengaluru | Updated: 25-06-2024 16:09 IST | Created: 25-06-2024 16:09 IST
Karnataka Milk Price Hike Sparks Political Outrage
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The Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) on Tuesday announced an imminent hike in milk prices slated to take effect from June 26. This decision has ignited a political storm, with the opposition vehemently holding the Siddaramaiah-led government accountable. In contrast, the government maintains that the decision is entirely KMF's independent action.

This escalation in milk prices follows closely on the heels of the state government's recent hike in sales tax on fuel, which saw petrol prices increase by Rs 3 per litre and diesel by Rs 3.5 per litre. The compounded impact on household expenses has fueled public dissatisfaction.

According to KMF's statement, the price hike is accompanied by an increase in quantity, with each packet offering an additional 50 ml of milk. This adjustment is ostensibly in response to surging milk storage levels, currently nearing one crore litres across district milk unions.

The price for a 500 ml toned milk packet from the Nandini brand will jump from Rs 22 to Rs 24, now containing 550 ml. Similarly, a 1000 ml packet will be priced at Rs 44, inclusive of an extra 50 ml.

Sharp reactions from opposition parties have framed this price hike as a burden on the economically vulnerable. The criticism ranged from labeling the hike as insensitive to outright accusations of political maneuvering.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah redirected accountability, stating, "The milk prices have been hiked by KMF, not the government. We are still comparing state-wide pricing strategies." He further implied that Karnataka's milk prices remain competitive relative to other states.

Opposition Leader R. Ashoka criticized the decision, suggesting it was ill-timed and burdensome for the state's poor and middle-class citizens already contending with rising fuel and vegetable prices.

BJP Karnataka President B Y Vijayendra echoed these sentiments, arguing that the decision disproportionately impacts struggling families. He accused the Congress government of leveraging essential commodity prices for political retribution.

Amidst critiques, the Janata Dal (Secular) party chimed in, questioning whether the price hike benefits would truly reach milk producers or merely pad KMF's coffers.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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