Kathmandu, July 9
The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has prepared a new draft for the Dairy Development Policy (DDP) 2007 with amended policies.
With a target to regulate and develop the dairy industry of the country, the NDDB had drafted the policy 12 years ago. However, it is to be noted that the policy has not been implemented yet and without even being implemented, the policy is again going to be amended.
As per NDDB, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) has requested the board to draft a bit more flexible policies. Thus, the NDDB has prepared a new draft and it is under discussion phase at the moment.
The initial policy, which was 15- page long, has been shortened to eight pages at present. Moreover, the policy, which had stricter provisions with specific guidance regarding its implementation, has been amended and now is a bit vague with no specific guidance.
The provisions that have not been changed in the new draft are mostly related to preserving and promoting livestock farming, providing grants and subsidies to farmers involved in dairy industry, providing required machinery, conducting awareness programmes and skill-based trainings along with establishing cold stores and warehouses.
Meanwhile, the new draft has amended the provision related to establishment of a dairy fund for the welfare of the dairy industry. The initial draft had stated that government enterprises, cooperatives and private dairy firms would have to pay service tax on each litre of milk to the dairy fund. And the collected amount would be spent on the development of various areas of the dairy industry.
However, the new draft has softened the provision and has mentioned that the dairy fund will be set up through the contribution of stakeholders, which means industrialists are no more obliged to pay service tax for the dairy fund.
After finalising the policy in 2007, it was submitted to the ministry for endorsement prior to preparing the framework for its implementation.
However, the DDP had been gathering dust in the ministry for the last 12 years. The ministry has now directed NDDB to come up with an amended policy, said Amogh Kafle, information officer at NDDB.
“Our major objective behind bringing this policy was to improve the dairy industry in rural areas and to uplift the livelihood of dairy producers,”
Kafle said, “As the ministry did not endorse the policy, we are now amending it.”
According to him, the ministry had been pointing out various problems in the policy, but no step had been taken yet to resolve them.
“We don’t know the reason behind the ministry not endorsing this policy. We have been directed to make it more contextual,” Kafle said.
After the NDDB submitted the draft policy to the MoALD several rounds of discussions with stakeholders have been conducted. However, no decision has been taken so far regarding its implementation, according to Kafle.
A version of this article appears in print on July 10, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.