The absence of monitoring mechanism for Goa Dairy’s milk booths is encouraging black marketing of milk packets forcing the public to shell out above the maximum retail price as large stocks of milk get diverted into the retail outlets from the authorised booths, and yet the authorities prefer to ignore the same.
Goa consumes around two lakh litres of milk daily of which the Goa Dairy caters to more than 50 per cent of the total requirement through authorised milk booths across the state. However, the milk does not reach the consumers through authorised milk booths as a large quantity of milk is diverted to various retail outlets, which in turn sell the milk at a price above the MRP.
Investigations have brought to light a well-connected network between retail outlets and milk booth owners who despite having stock refuse to sell it to the general public. Instead these milk packets find a place in the refrigerators of retail outlets. While the cost of half-litre milk packet is Rs 15, the same is sold at either Rs 15.5 or Rs 16 at some outlets. Despite this, the authorities have preferred to ignore this malpractice.
A shopkeeper, Mr Arun Naik said, "I place order for 50 packets of Goa Dairy from the milk booth in the mornings and evenings, which are delivered to my shop. However, I have to charge the customers above the retail price as there is very little margin for me. As it is not coming directly from Goa Dairy I have to pay commission to the booth owner."
Disclosing that a milk packet is priced at Rs 16 at his shop, Mr Naik said that he has to pay the electricity bill for refrigeration. Secondly, the people have to pay extra for their convenience as the milk booths open at odd hours while one can get the milk throughout the day at the retail outlets.
He said people prefer Goa Dairy milk packets than the milk supplied by other brands coming from Karnataka and Maharashtra, who have a network to supply the milk to retail outlets in Goa. Though milk brought from outside the state is cheaper, the people prefer Goa Dairy milk and only if it is not available then they purchase other brands.
Ms Pooja Dessai, a housewife from Cortalim, said the milk booth is located far away from her residence and every time they go to the booth, the attendant claims that the milk is sold out, leaving them with the option of buying high fat milk or purchasing it from the nearest retail outlet. However, not all milk booth owners are resorting to unscrupulous practices as is the case of the elderly man, who serves the residents of Bhatulem with courtesy.
In Porvorim the scene is different wherein the milk booth keepers come as early as 5.30 a.m. and close their outlets within half an hour: it is alleged that the Goa Dairy milk is supplied to the shopkeepers in the area.
The managing director of Goa Dairy, Mr Madhav Sahakari informed that the milk is distributed through 800 milk booths across the state. He said that most booths are kept open for two hours in the morning and couple of hours in the evening, adding that it is not feasible to operate the booths for the entire day and the timings are given to the booths based on the suggestions of the people living in the area.
He said the booths have to open early between 5.30 and 6.30 a.m. so as to facilitate those customers who have children going to schools and family members going for work. He, however, ruled out supplying milk through retail outlets. When asked about the milk being sold above the MRP, he said there is nothing that they could do if retail outlets are selling above the MRP.
"We can only take action if the authorised booths are resorting to such practices. He said it is up to the government to act against the ‘illegal’ sale, adding that department of weights and measures should take an action against the violation. (NT)


diogofichardo said...

Almost everything in Goa is sold on the black market so why not milk? Does the Government care?

Unknown said...

Last few days back, INDIA TV was broadcasting a programme on how duplicate milk is produced enmasse in New Delhi using cheap Chinese milk powder mixed with animal fat. The racket was busted that involved millions of rupees. As a caution, hope such a thing not happening in Goa. On the other side, if one visit the packaging plant of the Goa Diary in Ponda, you will think twice before having a cup of tea made from that milk. Now, the shortage is linked directly to the increased population of Goa, increased with the inflow of migrants and the sale of agricultural land that was previously used by our own Goan farmers and cattle grazers.

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