SGPC hires Pune firm for dairy items, farmers fume - ECAS Punjab

SGPC hires Pune firm for dairy items, farmers fume

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GS PAUL

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 2

The SGPC's move to hire a Maharashtra-based dairy for supply of desi ghee and other products, to be consumed in shrines across the state, has not gone down well with Punjab-based dairy farmers.

The state's only cooperative milk producers' federation, Milkfed, which offers products under the brand name Verka, has been a regular supplier of dairy products to the SGPC for the past many decades.

Winning the tender game

  • Insiders said in response to the tender dated June 26, 2020, the rate quoted by the Pune firm was Rs352 per kg for desi ghee, and Rs252 per kg for dry milk, both rates inclusive of the GST.
  • On the other hand, Verka desi ghee was quoted at Rs446 per kg and dry milk at Rs352 per kg, including the GST.

This time, Milkfed lost the SGPC order to a Pune-based firm Sonai Dairy, that offered products at a relatively much lower rate.

Insiders said in response to the tender dated June 26, 2020, the rate quoted by the Pune firm was Rs 352 per kg for desi ghee, and Rs 252 per kg for dry milk, both rates inclusive of the GST. On the other hand, Verka desi ghee was quoted at Rs 446 per kg and dry milk at Rs 352 per kg, including the GST.

Daljeet Singh Gill, president of Progressive Dairy Farmers' Association, Punjab, contested that negotiations could have been made with Verka. Thousands of dairy farmers have been associated with Milkfed and losing SGPC's order that rolls in several crores would directly hit their income.

SGPC vice-president Rajinder Singh Mehta said the tenders were finalised by a sub-committee and the firm with the lowest rates grabbed the order. "We have been using Verka products for decades, but this time, their rates were high in comparison to the Pune firm. There was a difference of around Rs 4 crore in desi ghee and Rs 1.30 crore in dry milk. How was it justified to ignore it?" he said.



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