The war between milk retailers and the Karachi administration continues as the retailers stick to their guns despite their stores being sealed.
The Karachi commissioner ordered action against milk retailers selling milk at higher rates. The retailers collectively announced that they would be raising the price of milk to Rs120 per kilo from Saturday.
When this new price came into effect, the Karachi administration stepped in on Sunday and began fining milk shops and sealing them.
According to the authorities, 74 shops were sealed and a collective fine of Rs456,000 was imposed.
But the president of the Dairy and Cattle Farmers Association, Shakir Gujjar, says they won’t back down. In fact, they’re going to increase prices to Rs135 per kilo next month.
Denying reports of his arrest, he told SAMAA TV that his shops across the city had been sealed, which he condemned.
We won’t take this price hike back, he said. If they try to force us, we’ll stage peaceful protests and then go to court, he warned.
This decision has been taken to compensate for farmers’ losses due to a drop in prices in previous months. Previously, the price in Karachi dropped as the city went into lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Retailers were dropping prices so that milk was not wasted as demand was low under the restrictions. According to the president of the Dairy and Cattle Farmers’ Association, Shakir Gujjar, people bought dry milk instead of fresh milk to stock up for quarantine which resulted in a massive loss to farmers.
To compensate for the losses, Gujjar had already announced in March 2020 that there will be an increase of Rs20 per litre after the virus was contained.