Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday announced an increase of Rs 10 per litre in the price of milk, effective November 1, while the opposition has condemned the move and demanded a rollback.
Earlier today, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam announced the hike, stressing that his government was forced to go for it.
Despite the increase, the price of "Aavin" milk produced by Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers Federation continues to be less than private brands, he said.
Also, the hike in procurement price of milk by Rs 3 early this year was not followed by any hike in price to consumers, he added.
Condemning the hike, DMK president Karunanidhi said never in the history of Tamil Nadu, under any regime, had the price of milk been hiked so steeply.
He accused the AIADMK regime of unilaterally increasing the procurement price by Rs 5 a litre without inviting the milk producers for talks on the proposed increase.
"The procurement price has been hiked only to the tune of Rs 5 a litre and the selling price has been increased by Rs 10, which is unprecedented," he said.
Alleging that the price has been increased to offset loss caused by a corruption scandal in Aavin, the DMK chief said the government has put the burden of hike on the common man. "The DMK strongly condemns the hike and urges the government to immediately withdraw it."
CPI (M) State Secretary G Ramakrishnan said the move is unacceptable. "Looking for profit in essential utilities and services like milk, electricity and drinking water is unacceptable," he said.
Expressing shock, CPI State Secretary D Pandian said: "The government rather than going in for administrative reforms in the wake of a graft scandal in Aavin had increased the milk price which is wrong."
BJP leader L Ganesan also said the hike should be rolled back.