Mumbai, June 2 - The Maharashtra government Saturday welcomed the central government's decision to withdraw the ban on export of skimmed milk powder as it would be in the interest of the milk producers in the state.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan also lauded the union commerce ministry's move to consider providing incentives for the export of skimmed milk powder in line with other farm products.
The union cabinet in New Delhi Saturday took the decision, following which Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh announced it.
In April this year, Chavan had written to Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma for lifting the ban on export of milk powder.
The state government had also requested the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) to procure 15,000 tonnes of milk powder from the state's stock of 24,000 tonnes.
In February 2011, the central government imposed a ban on exports of skimmed milk powder in order to arrest the hike in milk prices in the domestic markets.
The dairy industry has of late been facing problems due to a steep fall in domestic milk prices following surplus supplies on account of the ban on skimmed milk prices, causing worries to the state's milk producers.
Maharashtra daily produces around 11.30 million litres of milk through the organised dairy sector, including 3.60 million litres through milk cooperatives and remainder through government and private dairies.
The actual sale of milk per day for consumption, including domestic and commercial, is around 7.50 million litres.
In addition, about one million litres of milk is converted into dairy products while 2.80 million litres of milk is used in making butter and skimmed milk powder.
At present, a massive stock of 24,000 tonnes of skimmed milk powder lies unsold in warehouses across the state.