December 14, 2016 1:38:34 am
About 700 milk producers at Vora village in Tilakwada taluka of Narmada district held a symbolic protest at a branch of the Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) in the village on Tuesday after the bank refused to allow withdrawals. The milk cooperatives claim that despite the state government asking milk cooperatives to pay milk producers via bank accounts following demonetisation, the bank has not allowed them to withdraw money for the last one month, making their survival difficult.
According to the milk producers of Vora village – which also includes producers from other villages like Katholi, Chamarwada, Doodhpur, Chanpur, Vasan, Angari, Gamdi and Shahipura – the 700 members earn about Rs 30 lakh per ten days of milk supply to Baroda Dairy. In fact, Vora village milk producers’ association is among the largest milk suppliers to Baroda Dairy. Since the November 8 demonetisation, producers claim, the bank has not allowed withdrawals. Thus, a sum of Rs 90 lakh paid by Baroda Dairy towards milk supply to the Vora association has remained out of their reach.
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Sharif Kha, president of the Vora milk producers’ association, said, “We are a total of about 700 members. Every 10 days, we receive close to Rs 30 lakh from Baroda dairy towards milk supply. Since November 8, we are without cash and literally begging for our survival.
Every time we come to the IOB branch in the village, we are told that it is out of cash. The ATM also does not work. So, we have decided to protest here until they give us access to our own money. Despite the Rs 24,000 withdrawal limit set by the RBI, the bank is denying us cash.” Kha added that several members from the association have completely run out of cash. Those who have cash left with them from any previous savings are helping each other. The bank, which has about 7,000 accounts, expresses helplessness. Manager Alok Kumar said, “We are helpless as we do not have cash. The RBI is disbursing only about Rs 3 lakh every three days, which is insufficient to meet the demand of our account holders. We are not able to get the ATM machine function due to shortage of cash.”
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