<b>XIII LOK SABHA DEBATES, <i> Session II (Winter Session) </i> </b>
XIII LOK SABHA DEBATES, Session II (Winter Session) Monday, December 20, 1999/Agrahayana 29, 1921 (Saka )


Type of Debate: HALF-AN-HOUR DISCUSSION (RULE-55)
Title: Shri R.L. Jalappa raised a discussion on points arising out of the answer given by the Minister of Agriculture on 1.12.1999 to Starred Question No. 50 regarding Import of Duty free Milk powder.

TEXT :
1735 hours

MR. CHAIRMAN: Now, the House shall take up Half-an-Hour Discussion.

SHRI R.L. JALAPPA (CHIKBALLAPUR): Sir, I am raising this Half-an-Hour discussion consequent upon the reply given by the hon. Minister on the Starred Question No. 50 on 1st December, 1999.

The question is this -- "Whether the Government have decided to allow duty free import of 10,000 tonnes of skimmed milk powder."

The answer is -- "At present, the tariff rate of duty of skimmed milk powder is bound at nil. As such, import of skimmed milk powder does not attract any customs duty irrespective of the quantity of import.

The second question is -- "If so, the reasons thereof and also whether the Government are aware that due to subsidy being provided for milk production in foreign countries, the imported milk powder is available at cheaper rates and this will adversely affect the domestic industry."

The hon. Minister has agreed that it is affecting our domestic production.

The hon. Minister is aware that in our country millions of people have taken up dairying and they are getting their livelihood by taking up the milk production with two or three cows or buffaloes. After launching this Operation Flood, our country has become a surplus milk producer.

Everybody knows that the small and marginal farmers and the landless labourers have taken loans from the cooperatives and commercial banks at the Interest rate of 12 1/2 per cent to 16 per cent and they are now taking to milk dairying.

Secondly, even big farmers like me have also borrowed huge money from commercial banks and we have also taken up dairying. Today we are a surplus country. We have more milk and if Government permits us and if they subsidise, as is being done by the European Union and also by the USA, we can also export this milk powder to other countries now.

Today, milk producers have formed cooperatives. They are supplying milk to the cooperatives at village level and those societies have a Union of their own at the district level and those societies will supply this milk to the Milk Cooperative Unions where it is pasteurised and distributed among urban population and they are getting money for this supply once in 15 days.

These Cooperative Unions are having only a marginal income and they are not only supporting the small cooperatives of milk producers but they are also keeping the interest of the consumers by supplying milk at reasonable rate.

This milk production is subjected to too much of seasonal variations. The production increases during a few months called the flush season and during April, May, June, July and August, it will be the lean season. For example, when the production is more during flush period, we in Karnataka are having 6.11 lakh litres of excess milk per day. We cannot throw away this milk. We have to convert it into milk powder, but milk powder is not being sold now. I will come to that point later. This milk is converted into powder and as on November 30th, we have a stock in our State worth Rs. 21 crore. For the information of the hon. Minister, I have some figures with me about the stocks of milk powder in each State. In Gujarat, it is 5,000 metric tons of milk powder; in Haryana, it is 100 metric ton; in Punjab, it is 2,000 metric ton; in Rajasthan, it is 300 metric ton; in Uttar Pradesh, it is 900 metric ton; in Andhra Pradesh, it is 100 metric ton; in Tamil Nadu, in your own State, it is 3,500 metric ton; in Madhya Pradesh, it is 300 metric ton; in Maharashtra, it is 6,000 metric ton; and in Karnataka, it is 2,800 metric ton. This is the position as on the 30th November and this is going to be increased in the next three to four months. Till the end of March, this flush season will be there.

What will be the impact of this import of milk powder? I do not know why we are being thrown to the wolves, like chicken. Multinationals are being allowed. You have allowed sick to be imported; you have allowed oil to be imported; you have allowed sugar to be imported; you have allowed wheat to be imported; and now you are allowing milk powder, butter and every other thing to be imported. What are we doing? How can we survive if you allow all these under the WTO?

The other day, the hon. Minister was kind enough to say that they have imposed fifty per cent tariff duty on wheat. He gave the statement on the other day. Now, we have already 22,000 metric ton of milk powder in our country and it is going to be 45,000 metric ton by the end of March. Where are we going to sell it? We are not selling milk powder for the last two months. Nobody is purchasing even a kilogram of milk powder because our cost of conversion of milk into milk powder is Rs.70 to Rs.75 per kilogram and in the market, the imported milk powder is sold at Rs.50. Who will purchase our milk powder? This is what is happening now. The cost of animals have gone up. It is about Rs. 15,000 to 20,000 for a cow yielding six litres of milk per day.

MR. CHAIRMAN : You can only put a question.

SHRI R.L. JALAPPA : Allow me for five more minutes.

The cost of feed has also gone up. I am told, the hon. Minister is also a good agriculturist. I do not now know whether he is involved in dairying. The cost of the wheat bran has gone up by 30 per cent. It was being sold at Rs.150 per 50 kilogram bag. Now, it is sold at Rs.190 to Rs.200. The cost of groundnut cake that was being sold at Rs.6,000 per tonne last year has now gone up to Rs.9,000. You must please consider how it is possible for us to take up dairying profitably incurring this much cost.

I have already told that our conversion cost is very high whereas the milk that is being imported is being subsidized. They are subsidizing $ 1,000 for each tonne of exports made from the European Union and the USA. That is, they are subsidizing Rs.44 per kilogram of milk powder which is being exported from these countries. How can we compete with these people? It is not at all possible. What is going to be the effect of this? Our small farmers will give up dairying. I am myself a person who is supplying some milk to the societies. I am getting only the dung and urine of these animals. I am getting no profit.

Sir, I am speaking honestly. In my State, there is an agitation and some people even started beating a representative of the Milk Union. That is the position. There is no other way. They have borrowed money; they cannot repay their money nor can they get a few rupees for their livelihood.

I have a request to make to the hon. Minister. We should not forget the fact that we had `white revolution' only by the sweat and toil of millions of people. They have built it like this now and we are now surplus in this country. We also should not forget those people who have toiled much to bring our country as one of the major milk producers.

I have some suggestions to make to the hon. Minister. Firstly, the skimmed milk powder as well as butter oil shall be dropped from OGL; please for Heaven's sake, it should be done. Secondly, since the local production of dairy products is not subsidized, duty on imported SMP has to be imposed to bring the import prices on par or at the competitive levels as the local production costs. Thirdly, the Government shall subsidize the milk produced in our country so that Dairy Cooperative Societies and millions of farmers can survive. The next suggestion is that at least, during flush season, the school children shall be provided with milk free of cost.

Money is blocked and farmers are not getting their money. They are declaring milk holidays, that means, once a week, they would not take milk. They have also reduced the price of milk. Certain Unions have reduced it by 30 paise per litre and in certain others, they have reduced it by 65 paise per litre.

Finally, my suggestion would be this. The Defence Department purchase milk powder for the jawans who are fighting in the border areas; whenever they make such purchases, let them purchase from the Cooperatives so that the farmers get money and they can survive.

I have already brought these things to the kind notice. We are all small chicks, doing dairying. Please do not throw us to the wolves, that is, the multinationals. Please bear it in mind and save us from this perilous situation.

SHRI K.H. MUNIYAPPA (KOLAR): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The senior hon. Member, Shri Jalappa has narrated the whole thing. I would like to give a few suggestions to the hon. Minister. ... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN : You have not given notice earlier.

... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: You should have given notice in the morning itself. Since you have not given, your name has not been listed here.

... (Interruptions)

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... (ɴvx)

MR. CHAIRMAN: I cannot go against the rules. I will read out that rule for you. It says:

"There shall be no formal motion before the House nor voting. The Member who has given notice may make a short statement and the Members who have previously intimated to the Speaker may ask a question."

If you see that rule, you will find that it does not permit.

... (Interruptions)

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... (ɴvx)

SHRI GUTHA SUKENDER REDDY (NALGONDA): We have already intimated. ... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: I do not want to create a bad precedent. Have you intimated to the Speaker earlier? No. So, your name did not find a place in this list.

... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: No. No. The rule does not permit. I am going only by that rule. You should have given a notice in writing in advance to the hon. Speaker. You have not done that. I can go only by that rule. If I allow anybody now, it will become a precedent hereafter. That is why, I do not want to allow anybody.

... (Interruptions)

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... (ɴvx)

MR. CHAIRMAN: I cannot go against the rules.

SHRI SONTOSH MOHAN DEV (SILCHAR): Sir, I am glad to see that you are a different person when you are in the Chair than when you are sitting with us.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I was also denied like that!

... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN : This will not go on record.

(Interruptions)*

MR. CHAIRMAN: I do not want to expunge it. I only disallow him to speak.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI K.H. MUNIYAPPA : Sir, this is a very important subject. Hon. Member, Shri Jalappa, has given the details and the figures. I would like to inform the House that providing markets is the only way to save our agro-based industries. ... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: You should have given a notice in advance.

... (Interruptions)

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* Not Recorded.

SHRI M.V.V.S. MURTHI (VISAKHAPATNAM): Being an ex-Speaker, you can understand the situation better. You need not go strictly by the rules every time. You can take a decision based on the importance of the subject. ... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: I do not want to create a new precedent.

... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: I do not say it is bad. But I do not want to create a new precedent.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI R.L. JALAPPA : It is a question which affects millions of people. ... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: If everybody wants that kind of a decision, then we can create a new precedent. I will establish any precedent that you like.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI K.H. MUNIYAPPA : Sir, providing market is the only way to save the farmers. The agro-based industries like fruit and vegetable processing are very important for our country. I belong to Kolar district which is in the State of Karnataka. There, every household has one or two cows and they are producing 10 to 25 litres of milk every day. More than 4,000 villagers are there. If the Unions do not procure the milk, where will the farmers go? That is their only livelihood. The same is the case with the silk industry. Silk industry is also affected because of the liberalisation. Multi-nationals dump their products in our country. It is because of the liberalisation, we are not able to control the silk industry. The position of the milk industry is also the same. Where will the farmers go? Some solution will have to be found out. Otherwise, the farmers would be in a bad shape.

Mr. Chairman, through you, I would suggest to the hon. Minister that milk should be procured through a nodal agency and whatever is procured should be distributed in a proper manner. If there is more production, they can be stored and converted into milk powder. The milk powder should be sold within and outside the country. The Government of India should come forward to take this step. Why should we import when the indigenous production is more than our necessity? Why should we import milk powder and silk products? These are very serious matters. The hon. Minister is very much concerned about these issues. The industries are also affected. So many tonnes of iron is dumped in this country. They dump our own products also. Lakhs of workers are affected. If we stop the industrialisation, ultimately our people would suffer. We have to stand against dumping. Otherwise, our industries would be destroyed within five years. We will not be able to find any industry in this country. I would request the hon. Minister to take care of the farmers as well as the industrialists. Otherwise, we would be in a bad shape. After that, the multi-nationals will charge double the rates. This is a known fact. We all know this. We have to find out a solution. We have to put an end to this. In order to prevent this dumping, we have to increase the import duty on these items. I agree that liberalisation policy is there. But there should be some limit to it. If you do not levy any duty on these items, how can you save the farmers and the industrialists? Today the public undertakings are becoming sick because there is no proper control of liberalisation.

There is no proper control over dumping. I would suggest that the Government should impose duty on it. If the Government imposes 30-40 per cent duty, there will be salvation. This way, we can protect our local, domestic industry. We can save our own industry. The Government can insist on quality. Local industry can be asked to maintain quality.

Mr. Chairman, Sir, you belong to the farming community. You know all these things. We want 6,000 tonnes of silk, out of which 4,000 tonnes are produced in our country. We want only 2,000 tonnes of silk but the Government is importing 6,000 tonnes of silk and dumping it on our farmers. There is nobody to control it. In this situation, how can we progress? Moreover, the cost of production is high and the farmers are not able to bear with it as the Government is selling our products at low price. Farmers are suffering a lot because of this. Same is the case with milk.

MR. CHAIRMAN : Under the rule, you are allowed to only put question.

SHRI K.H. MUNIYAPPA : I would suggest that the import of milk powder should be stopped. There is already over-production in our country. On the same line, silk also should not be imported. The Government should import only those items which are needed in our country.

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... (ɴvx)

SHRI R.L. JALAPPA : I cannot follow Hindi. I will be grateful if the Minister speaks in English.

SHRI NITISH KUMAR: Interpretation is going on. You will not find any difficulty. Our Interpreters are very learned persons.

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