Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday suggested including milk in the mid-day meal scheme in order to improve the nutritional levels of children.
Naidu made the suggestion while speaking to Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani on Monday. The minister assured the vice president that the central government would consider recommending to all the states to include milk in the mid-day meal scheme, the Vice President’s Secretariat said in a release.
Meanwhile, various measures have been taken to help dairy and poultry sectors to tide over the problems in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the vice president was informed by Atul Chaturvedi, secretary, department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, the release stated.
Chaturvedi informed the vice president that the government was encouraging entrepreneurship in the poultry sector and providing support by way of incentives and policy intervention. He said that the department of Animal Husbandry would also consider recommending to the Finance Ministry the need to restructure loans for the poultry industry. He also apprised Naidu that the procurement by the milk cooperatives in the organized sector has been stepped up.
The Government is providing an interest subvention of two per cent per annum to cooperatives on working capital loans. Also, an additional incentive of two per cent interest subvention is being given in case of timely repayment. On the suggestion of the vice president, the secretary assured to consider extending a similar facility to private dairies.
Naidu was also informed of the plans of the department to develop cattle farms, sheep and goats rearing farms and regional fodder stations through public-private partnership model by better utilizing the available infrastructure. He also apprised him of plans to improve cattle breed through latest in-vitro fertilization technology, the release added.