KMF withdraws hike in milk, curd prices in Karnataka

News Network
November 15, 2022

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Bengaluru: The Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) on Monday announced a Rs 3 hike in the per-litre prices of Nandini milk and curd that was to take effect on Tuesday but withdrew the decision after prodding from the chief minister's office. 

The KMF cited the increase in processing and maintenance costs in dairy farming in the last two years to announce the hike. Officials said the cost of materials used to prepare cattle fodder had shot up by at least 30 per cent. “By June 2022, we collected close to 94.20 lakh litres of milk a day. But this has come down to 78.80 lakh litres because many small farmers have given up dairy farming due to rising costs," a KMF official said. 

Transport, packaging and electricity costs have also shot up by 20 per cent to 35 per cent, the KMF statement said. Lumpy skin disease and adverse weather conditions also added to farmers’ woes, it added, giving reasons for the hike that had been in the pipeline for nearly a year.

A source in the KMF said farmers had demanded a hike of Rs 5 per litre. “With mounting costs, farmers were demanding a Rs 5 hike. Many unions pay farmers Rs 2 to Rs 3 more from their reserve fund so that they don't drop out. The price rise was necessary to prevent losses to farmers and Rs 3 will be given entirely to farmers,” a senior KMF official said. 

By Monday evening, however, the hike was put on hold, ostensibly because the government was wary of public backlash with assembly elections just seven months away.

Speaking to reporters in Sedam, Kalaburagi district, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that a final decision on the milk price hike would be taken after November 20 by convening a meeting of the KMF chairman and senior officials. 

Following the chief minister's statement, an official confirmed that the KMF chairman had withdrawn the order. 

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News Network
January 15,2023

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Kathmandu, Jan 15: An aircraft with 72 people on board crashed in Nepal on Sunday, a spokesman for Yeti Airlines said.

"There are 68 passengers on board and four crew members... Rescue is underway, we don't know right now if there are survivors," Sudarshan Bartaula said.

The plane crashed between the old and new Pokhara airports in central Nepal.

The wreckage was on fire and rescue workers were trying to put out the blaze, said local official Gurudutta Dhakal.

"Responders have already reached there and trying to douse the fire. All agencies are now focused on first dousing the fire and rescuing the passengers," Dhakal said.

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News Network
January 15,2023

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Mangaluru, Jan 15: The Mangaluru International Airport, controlled by Adani Airports, is all set to set to increase the user development fee (UDF) for the period up to March 2026 after the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) gave the green signal.

With this the passengers flying from this airport will have to pay more from February. 

Previously, only passengers departing or embarking from MIA had to pay UDF. However, beginning February 1, all passengers arriving from various airports and leaving from MIA will be charged UDF.

MIA had moved Airports Economic Regulatory Authority, seeking a revision in the aeronautical tariff for a control period of five years from April 1, 2021, up to March 31, 2026.

MIA had pitched for a revision of airport charges, including user development fee (UDF) from passengers flying in and out of this coastal city. The fee will be hiked every financial year, both for domestic and international passengers.

New Tariff 

International travellers arriving at MIA will have to pay Rs 330 as UDF between February and March of this year which will be hiked to Rs 435 from April 2023 till March 2024 and further to Rs 480 after April 2025.

Starting April, domestic travellers will also have to pay Rs 560 towards UDF. This fee will go up further to Rs 700 from April 2024 and to Rs 735 from April 2025. Similarly, international travellers will have to cough up Rs 1,015 from April which will go up to Rs 1,120 from April 2025.

For the first time, domestic passengers arriving at MIA will have to pay an UDF of Rs 150 from April 2023 which will further go up to Rs 240 from April 2024 and Rs 315 from April 2025.

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News Network
January 28,2023

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Hassan, Jan 28: There seems to be a conundrum within the JD(S) and its 'first family' led by former prime minister H D Deve Gowda over selection of the party candidate to Hassan assembly segment for the upcoming Karnataka polls.

The seat is turning out to be a major bone of contention, as Gowda's daughter-in-law Bhavani Revanna, who had thrown her hat in the ring, has not relented, despite JD(S) legislature party leader and her brother-in-law H D Kumaraswamy making it clear that she will not be fielded.

Bhavani Revanna, a former Hassan zilla panchayat member, is the wife of Kumaraswamy's elder brother and former minister H D Revanna. Two days after Bhavani Revanna publicly claimed that her name had been finalised by the party for the Hassan seat and a formal announcement will be made soon, Kumaraswamy on January 25 said her contest was not necessary there (in the constituency) as the party has a capable candidate.

JD(S), which has already announced a list of 93 candidates for the assembly polls due by May, is yet to finalise one for Hassan constituency. Hassan is the home district of Deve Gowda and the party in 2018 assembly polls had won in six out of seven segments other than the Hassan seat, which BJP's Preetham Gowda secured, making it the first ever win for the saffron party in the Vokkaliga-dominated district.

Despite Kumaraswamy's statement, according to party sources, Bhavani Revanna has not backed down and continued her tour in the constituency as she took part in a temple event on Friday. Some sources even said the Hassan candidate issue has now reached JD(S) patriarch Deve Gowda, who will now have the final say on the matter.

Bhavani's husband H D Revanna's conspicuous silence on the developments has led to some amount of speculation about the predicament within the Gowda family on the issue. Though Revanna's elder son and Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna had, soon after his mother's claim to be the candidate, maintained that Deve Gowda will decide and everyone will abide by it, he hasn't reacted after Kumaraswamy's statement that she will not be the candidate.

When reporters tried to speak to her after the temple event, Bhavani Revanna said she did not wish to give any reaction for now. "Let whoever say anything, I will not react... I will not speak politics, I have come here for worship... I don't know much about the developments as of now. Let's see in the days to come," she said.

When a question was put to her that people had a desire that she should contest from the seat, Bhavani said: "Let's see in the future how the god's and everyone's grace will be... Let's see, I will speak in the future." As she served food to people who attended the temple event, announcements were made on the loudspeaker calling her "Next MLA Bhavani Amma".

Kumaraswamy on Thursday and Friday too reiterated his stand making it clear that when there is a "capable" candidate in a constituency, there is no question of imposing someone from the Gowda family. "Why are you (media) in a confusion on this, I have already said...our family members will contest where we don't have a capable candidate, to protect the interest of our workers. Where there are suitable candidates, such a need won't be there. If such a situation comes, I will tell you," he told reporters on Friday.

Stating that he has said what he had to regarding the Hassan ticket issue and that the rest will sit in the family and decide within the party framework, Kumaraswamy said, "Ultimately Deve Gowda is the one who issues the B-form for the candidate. There is a parliamentary board and there are leaders," he said, rejecting any misunderstanding or conflict within the family.

"Everything will be resolved smoothly," he added. H P Swaroop, a former Hassan zilla panchayat vice-president and son of former MLA late H S Prakash, is said to be the "capable candidate", whom Kumaraswamy is keen to field.

Swaroop too has been visiting villages along with his supporters. Stating that he is trying to get a ticket from JD(S), Swaroop earlier this week said "there seems to be confusion among people and workers following this announcement by Bhavani Revanna, but I'm saying let the ticket be officially declared..." He said that he has high regards for Deve Gowda and Revanna, and there is no question of him looking at an option of going to another party.

Meanwhile, taking a dig at the JD(S) on the whole issue, BJP national general secretary C T Ravi mockingly said he has a desire to invite Bhavani Revanna to contest from Holenarasipur (her husband Revanna's seat) on the party's ticket. "I have seen Bhavani Revanna's statement, also Kumaraswamy's. I don't want to create a rift within the family, or else I had a desire to tell Bhavani akka (elder sister) that there is no better candidate than her for Holenarasipur and become a candidate for the seat from our party. But I don't want to create a fight between Revanna and Bhavani akka, so I won't say anything," he said.

Asked about C T Ravi's statement, Bhavani Revanna said, "You (media) should ask him, I don't know about it..." Kumaraswamy, in response to Ravi's statement, said the BJP is "used to dividing the house". "They are someone who divide the country. Won't they look for dividing a house? But they won't be able to divide Deve Gowda's house, they might be thinking they can, but it is not possible. They cannot divide us," the former chief minister said.

Some political observers are of the opinion that the perception about JD(S) being too family centric is one of its major drawbacks. According to JD(S) sources, Kumaraswamy wants to beat this perception. It is with this intention that he had tried to justify his earlier decisions to give ticket to his wife Anitha Kumaraswamy to contest polls in 2008, 2013 and 2018 by citing lack of suitable candidate, party pride and demand by workers as the reason for her contesting the seat, while denying the same for Bhavani.

However, he has already announced his son Nikhil Kumaraswamy as the candidate from Ramanagara for the assembly polls. Eight members of Gowda's immediate family are in active politics. Gowda, who is the JD(S) supremo, is also Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka, while his son Kumaraswamy is a former chief minister and sitting MLA from Channapatna. Kumaraswamy's wife Anitha is MLA from Ramanagara segment, and his son Nikhil, who is the JD(S) youth wing president, had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Mandya.

The party supremo's elder son H D Revanna is a former minister and current MLA from Holenarsipura, his wife Bhavani Revanna was a member of the Hassan Zilla Panchayat, and their sons Prajwal and Suraj are MP from Hassan and an MLC, respectively. The Gowda family has its representation in all the four major houses of public representatives - Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha, Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council.

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