Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], September 7 (ANI): Kerala Government will bring a resolution in the state assembly against Centre's move to impose Income Tax on primary milk co-operatives, said state Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Minister J Chinchurani on Tuesday.
Speaking at a meeting organised here by Kerala Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (KCMMF), popularly known as Milma, the Minister said the state would put up stiff resistance against the proposal till it is withdrawn.
"The Centre has cast a huge burden on the dairy farmers who belong to the lowest rung of the society. This blow has come at a time when they are struggling to sustain the dairy sector amidst severe hardships caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Kerala will continue to oppose the decision, till it is rolled back," said Chinchurani.
She informed that she had already written to the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman demanding withdrawal of the decision, pointing out its grim fallout on the dairy sector. The issue was also raised at the meeting of dairy development ministers convened by the Centre.
The minister emphasised that the state government has put in place policies and programmes to support the dairy farmers in these trying times.
As a co-operative network whose primary commitment is towards dairy farmers, Milma, together with its regional unions, has been following a policy of setting apart the bulk of its revenue for the welfare of the farmers by implementing pension, health and education schemes, she said.
Meanwhile, the Congress workers and leaders staged a protest at the Martyrs' Column in Thiruvananthapuram over the issue.
The Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly V D Satheesan emphasised the need to stand together, setting aside political differences, to counter the Centre's move.
"The Centre has unilaterally made this decision without having any consultation with the people and organisations engaged in the dairy sector. This issue would be raised in the State Assembly in the next session as a serious matter," Satheesan said.
Milma chairman KS Mani said the decision to impose tax on Anand model primary co-operatives would deal a crippling blow to the co-operative dairy sector.
"This is quite an ill-advised and unjustified move which would only ruin the dairy farmers, at a time when they are reeling under the pandemic-induced crisis," Mani added.
Similar protest meetings were held across the state, rallying dairy farmers and members of co-operative societies, demanding the roll-back of the proposal. (ANI)