Lift ban on SMP export immediately, says Valsad Dairy Chief

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Anand, Gujarat, Sep 18 (UNI) Valsad Dairy Chairman Mogabhai Desai today demanded at the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation's (GCMMF) board meeting that the ban on skimmed milk powder (SMP) be lifted immediately.

Addressing media persons after the two-hour meeting, Mr Desai said the ban on SMP export was imposed in February this year until September 30, 2007. If the Centre fails to pay heed to our request then a ''milk holiday'' will be declared as a sign of protest on September 30.

There will be no supply of milk on that day, he said.

However, FMCG companies and the CII want the ban to continue until March 2008.

GCMMF President Parthibhai Bhatol told newspersons that it was a routine affair with a normal agenda. We have already received an assurance from the Centre that the ban will go on till September 30.

GCMMF is India's largest food products marketing organisation.

It is a state level apex body of milk co-operatives, comprising members from 13 district co-operative milk producers' union, with a total milk handling capacity of over 10 million litres per day.

During April 2005 to December 2006, GCMMF had exported 16,677 million tonns of skimmed milk powder before the ban was imposed in February 2007. The Central Government ironically was the beneficiary of the export as it earned huge foreign exchange.

Mehsana Dairy Chief Vipul Chaudhary, though attended the meeting, refused to say anything to the media.

UNI

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