Mandya: Mandya District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Society’s Union Limited (MANMUL) is a lifeline for thousands of families in the District, who took up dairy farming for livelihood. The MANMUL comes under Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) which is trusted milk producers cooperative society since decades.
But in the month of June 2021, the farmers in Mandya were startled as huge milk adulteration scam was unearthed in MANMUL. The scam was being held under the aegis of milk transporters of MANMUL itself, it was alleged. State Government took the issue seriously and handed over the probe to COD.
Now it is alleged that the MANMUL management has started a process of hurriedly recruiting 187 vacant posts of officials even though the union is running under losses since years.
Farmer leaders are opposing the move of MANMUL to appoint officials as the milk adulteration scam is still under investigation by COD. The MANMUL has been paying less price to farmers for procuring milk compared to unions of the other districts. Following adulterated scam, the MANMUL would soon be superseded by the State Government, opine leaders.
As of the now, the MANMUL has 350 regular employees and another 1250 employees working under the outsourcing arrangement. These employees have been working since years and have very good experience. The new appointment would cause job loss for temporary employees and the salary would costs Rs. 12 Crore annually. And if allowances included it would burden more than Rs. 20 Crore to the union. Farmers say that if MANMUL appoints new employees and then cuts price of procuring milk seems very illogical. Farmers should not be sacrificed to feed new employees, they say.
MANMUL management says that it is essential to recruit new employees as work load is more in Mega dairy. But the erstwhile management while launching mega dairy in the year 2016 said that mega dairy would reduce dependency on workers as it is fully-automated with latest technology. So, the profit would increase and will be distributed to farmers, they had added.
In the year 2019, the management issued announcement to appoint 100 staff. The erstwhile Chief Minister H. D. Kumaraswamy had cancelled the appointment notification followed by the complaint from farmers’ welfare committee.
Speaking to News Karnataka committee Secretary Sunanda Jayaram said that despite no appointments, the MANMUL is running without any hassles. When farmers demanded for more price the management showed losses, she said and warned of severe agitation throughout the district if management does not cancel appointment process.
Another farmer leader Induvalu Chandrashekar said that thousands of youth have applied for jobs. Everybody is speaking about cost of each posts which proves appointments would not be held transparently.
A MANMUL employee on condition of anonymity said that the management gave promotions to senior officers, and that too is a business.
But MANMUL President B. M. Ramachandra denied all allegations, and said that the government gave approval to appoint 520 employees as 270 employees have already retired. He said contract workers who are present are not sufficient to run dairy, and therefore we need permanent employees to check irregularities. He said the appointments are going on as per law only.