‘Imports hurting dairy sector’ – The Express Tribune

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PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: The Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) said that the increasing import of milk and whey powders is slowly destroying the local dairy sector while contributing to rural poverty and playing havoc with people’s health.

The local dairy sector has become unattractive for investors, which has resulted in falling milk production due to closure of hundreds of farms, it said.

“The government should take immediate steps to reverse the situation; otherwise, Pakistan will become a milk-deficient country,” said FPCCI Regional Committee on Industries Chairman Atif Ikram Sheikh.

He said that the local dairy sector is going down since 2013 due to import of milk powder, which runs in millions. The country imports two to three million kilogramme of milk powder annually while imports in 2015 jumped to 44 million kilogrammes.

Milk sellers have started adding cheap milk powder in fresh milk while many industries using fresh milk have switched to imported dry milk, which has added to the problems of the local dairy sector, Sheikh observed.

“Turkey had imposed 180% duty on import of milk; therefore, Pakistan should also hike duty to a minimum of 100%,” suggested the chairman.

Local milk market should be regulated, adulteration should be discouraged and the public should know the difference between fresh milk and synthetic products, which are very damaging for babies, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2017.

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