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Amul Faces Controversy Over AP Dairy Project

The government of Andhra Pradesh rejuvenates the dairy industry in Chittoor and entrusts its management to Amul. The opposition strongly criticizes the YSRCP government for this decision.

Shivangi Rai
Andhra Pradesh Government rejuvenates the dairy industry in Chittoor and entrusts its management to Amul. (Image Courtesy- Amul)
Andhra Pradesh Government rejuvenates the dairy industry in Chittoor and entrusts its management to Amul. (Image Courtesy- Amul)

Amul, the renowned co-operative giant, is currently involved in a fresh controversy surrounding its new dairy project in Andhra Pradesh. The company, owned by the Gujarat Milk Marketing Federation, is investing ₹385 crore to revive the Chittoor Co-operative Dairy.

While this investment strategically positions Amul close to the lucrative markets of Tamil Nadu and Bengaluru, it is being viewed by the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy Government as a political activity.

The opposition alleges that the government's decision to revive the Chittoor Co-operative Dairy is a deliberate attempt to target Heritage, a prominent dairy player associated with Telugu Desam Party leader Chandrababu Naidu's family.

The Chittoor Cooperative Dairy, which started as the state's first milk chilling unit in 1969 with a daily capacity of 6,000 liters, faced ups and downs and reached a processing capacity of two lakh liters per day before its closure in 2002. Although it was slated for liquidation in 2003, the process was never completed.

In order to revive the dairy, the state government has agreed to settle dues amounting to ₹180 crore. On Tuesday, Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy initiated the revival of the dairy by breaking ground, and Amul has committed to invest ₹385 crore in the project.

The initial phase will involve an investment of ₹150 crore and the processing of 1 lakh liters of milk per day over the coming months. In a public address, Chief Minister Reddy alleged that the previous Telugu Desam government had conspired against the Chittoor dairy because it posed a challenge to the growth of Heritage Foods.

The YSRCP government signed a memorandum of understanding with Amul in 2020 as part of the Jagananna Pala Velluva (milk flood) program aimed at reviving the dairy sector in the state. Over the past two years, Amul has procured 8.78 crore liters of milk from various parts of Andhra Pradesh.

The opposition has criticized the government for relying on a Gujarat-based dairy company to revive the cooperative sector. The CPM has urged the government not to lease the 28 acres of land belonging to the Chittoor dairy to Amul for a period of 99 years. They have argued that the state government should strengthen the cooperative sector without the involvement of external entities, citing examples from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Jana Sena Party leader Nadendla Manohar, however, expressed hope that this move will not be merely symbolic and without substantial impact.

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