Haryana government has decided to give a waiver of Rs 1,268 crore on milk cess. This decision will help the plants in their day-to-day working capital requirements and also buy more milk at a better price, which will bring more prosperity to the farmers.

While giving this information, an official spokesman said that there is a plan to introduce a “One-time Settlement” of past dues of Milk Cess levied on milk plants in the state.

The defaulter entity may be permitted to pay the pending principal amount of Milk Cess due along with simple interest calculated @ 12 per cent (from the date of default) for receiving the benefits of the scheme. It is further proposed that 50 per cent of amount due (principal and interest) should be paid by the company concerned within 60 days and the balance should be paid within six months in six equal installments, failing which, 15 per cent simple interest would be charged on the balance amount, he added.

He said that the scheme would be valid for 60 days from the date of its announcement and payment of 50 per cent of the amount due within 60 days of applying for or joining the scheme, would be construed as opting for the scheme.

The spokesman said that the milk cess was started in 2001 under sub-section 1 of section 6 of Haryana Murrah Buffalo and Other Milch Animals Breed (Preservation and Development of Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Sector) Act 2001. It is applicable only to plants having processing capacity more than 10,000 litres of milk per day and not to chilling plants etc and was meant to help the development of Murrah, Sahiwal and Hariana Breeds besides establishing Haryana Livestock Development Board (HLDB).

Presently, only 23 Milk Plants are working in Haryana, against 40 that had started or functioned at one time, as the banks refused to give working capital against the accumulated interest which is charged annually on monthly compounding basis. The Milk Plant owners have been representing that they face notices from HLDB for recovery of Milk Cess (balance Rs 69.55 crore, of which only Rs 38.05 crore is from private plants, rest is of Coop Dairy plants and NDRI) and interest thereon which comes to Rs 1,278.61 crore as on March 31, 2019, he added.