Bangladesh Dairy Farmers’ Association on Tuesday said reducing duty to 10 per cent from 25 per cent on filled milk powder in the proposed budget for fiscal year 2018-19 would hamper local milk production and destroy the country’s emerging milk industry.
They demanded 30 per cent anti-dumping duty on imported milk powder in addition to existing 25 per cent import duty on the product.
‘The government should give more emphasis to produce fresh milk to meet protein and nutritional demand and look into the interest of the grassroots farmers,’ said Imran Hossain, president of BDFA at a press conference at the National Press Club.
‘We demand to keep the existing 25 per cent import duty on milk powder and to add 30 per cent anti-dumping duty additionally on it,’ he said.
Imran said that the local milk production had shown a tremendous positive growth and the dependency on import had been decreasing but millions of farmers would suffer losses and investors would be discouraged for the duty reduction on milk powder.
Shah Emran, secretary general of BDFA, said that the present annual demand of milk in the country was around 1,450 crore litres and 62.4 per cent of the demand were met by local production.
He said millions of unemployed educated youths have joined this profession and non-resident Bangladeshis have invested in this sector in the last five years.
‘Around 50 to 60 lakhs direct and indirect jobs were created while the livestock sector is contributing 3.21 per cent to GDP and 8 per cent protein is coming from meat and milk,’ he said, urging the government to back local milk production.
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