Milk cooperatives have approached the Centre and asked for export incentives to help tide over the COVID-19 crisis. Cooperatives have sought a scheme to distribute milk in anganwadis, schools, and hospitals that treat coronavirus patients to reduce inventories of unsold skimmed milk powder (SMP) and other products.
The cooperatives have claimed that they would be forced to cut down their milk procurement price in the coming months if the support is not made available. Till now, the cooperatives, unlike their private counterparts, have managed to hold on to the procurement price despite a sharp drop in demand, reported Business Standard.
The demand for milk and milk products witnessed a steep decline due to the COVID-19 induced nationwide lockdown, which forced hotels, restaurants, sweetmeat shops to remain shut. While the lockdown has been lifted, things are yet to normalise.
The cooperatives have sought to bring dairy products under the ongoing Transport and Marketing Assistance Scheme (TMAS) for agriculture products. Additionally, they want export incentives on the revamped Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) to be raised to 20 percent from the present 5 percent .
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
The cooperatives have also demanded some concession on import of capital goods and also entrusting the states to explore export opportunities for skimmed milk powder in neighbouring countries.
"We also want the Centre to launch some programme so that milk can be distributed to aangwandi centres, hospitals for COVID patients and other," an official told Business Standard.Click here for Moneycontrol's coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak