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Decision of SGPC impacted livelihood of 3.5 lakh milk producers of Punjab : Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa

Cooperation Minister writes to Bhai Longowal asking him to reconsider decision

Chandigarh : The Cooperation Minister, Punjab, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has written to the SGPC President Bhai Gobind Singh Longowal over the issue of SGPC giving supply rights of desi ghee & skimmed milk for karah parshad & langar to an unknown private firm of Pune named Sonai Dairy instead of Milkfed. The minister has pointed out that the decision has hit the 3.5 lakh milk producers of Punjab very hard economically and has affected their livelihood. Out of these milk producers, 99 percent are Sikhs whereas the SGPC being the sole representative body of Sikhs, the decision doesn’t behove the mini parliament of the Sikhs. Under the new agreement, the Pune based company has got the order, worth Rs. 60 crores for supplying skimmed milk and desi ghee, which earlier was with Milkfed. He has appealed to the SGPC President to reconsider this decision.In his letter, the minister has reminded the SGPC President to consider the fact that Milkfed is that very institution of the Punjab Government which has never hankered after profiteering and has ensured quality products such as milk, ghee, paneer and milk products to its consumers besides giving reasonable prices to the milk producers. Since decades, the milkfed as a brand is well known not in Punjab only but in the entire country. It is supplying skimmed milk, desi ghee and paneer to both the SGPC and DSGMC since a very long time whereas the Sonai Dairy of Pune is a completely unknown entity whom nobody has even heard off. The Pune company carries only one agenda and that is minting profit because at the rate at which the company has inked an agreement of supplying desi ghee, no institution can provide top standard desi ghee and skimmed milk which makes it clear that the quality would be compromised severely and that would be playing a cruel joke with the sentiments as well as the health of scores of devotees who partake langar at Sri Guru Ramdas Langar in Sri Darbar Sahib and the other historical Gurudwaras. Whereas on the other side, the milkfed has never compromised with the standards. If milkfed reduces the purchase rate of milk then the private milk plants and the milk vendors would also do the same thus resulting in the complete ruin of the livelihood of the milk producers of Punjab.S. Randhawa also reminded Bhai Longowal that the milk producers of Punjab are the very farmers who every year contribute lakhs of tones of rice, wheat and pulses to Sri Darbar Sahib and the other Gurudwaras.Imploring Bhai Longowal to remember the late President of SGPC Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra who used to say that the SGPC is not a commercial institution who considers monetary profit and loss while making every decision. Jathedar Tohra used to ask that whether the SGPC can give any of the shops of any of its Gurudwara Sahib to a person who sells Sikh Literature and 5 ‘Kakaars’ or the one who sells lecherous stuff or is an atheist. Not at all. The decision of the SGPC to give supply order worth Rs. 60 crore instead of Sikh milk producers to a private company completely ignorant about the tradition of Sikhs, is one such.



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