GCMMF, the giant dairy cooperative held its Annual General Meeting on 31st May where it parroted its story of growth on all fronts. The Chairman Parthi Bhatol was beaming with satisfaction at the fast growth achieved by the world-famed Amul brand under his leadership.
Indian Cooperative interviewed him on this occasion on various issues ranging from milk procurement to cooperative politics to controversies surrounding Banas dairy. Excerpts
Q It is obvious you have done well, what next?
Bhatol: Achieving 20 percent growth is no mean achievement. We achieved an impressive turnover of nearly Rs 12 thousand crore. This year we plan to achieve a turn-over of Rs 14,400 crore.
But more than we wish to enter into liquid milk in a big way and fan out in all the major cities of the country selling liquid milk.
Q But is it at the cost of average consumer as Amul revises its milk-rate every now and then?
Bhatol: There are many reasons why milk is getting costlier, rising cost of cattle feed being one. The gap between demand and supply is another. We are as much a victim of situation as is an average consumer
Q But GCMMF is credited with rewarding its member-farmers the most handsome return while members of other dairy cooperatives face closure in many cases?
Bhatol: We conduct our business in the most efficient manner with absolute honesty. We are the firsts to introduce latest technology to maximize our profit. Other milk cooperatives are still being run on obsolete equipment.
We have also much less expenses incurred on transportation as compared to others.
Lastly and most importantly, there is no interference from the state government but this is not the case with dairy cooperatives in other states.
Q But you are also accused of corruption charges in running the Banas dairy union where you are the Chairman?
Bhatol : See it is the election time and those who wish to capture power are indulging in all kinds of baseless allegations. Two elections are due: one at GCMMF on 25 June and second at Banas in a couple of months.
They imagine muck raking would help them. But they have no idea about the amount of confidence members repose in me.
Q How is Banas Cooperative Milk Union doing?
Bhatol: When I took over it was number 10 in milk procurement. Now it is number one. And the number one has been relegated to number 2 position. The gap between us and number two is huge; its 10 lakh litre per day.
When your work speaks, detractors lose credibility. In the case of Banas also something of this sort has happened.
Q But still all charges cannot be without some basis?
Bhatol: See when you mean business and you are transparent you take many decisions which do not suit the vested interests. We have removed many black sheep and when you hit, you have to be ready to be hit back. It is so simple.
But let the elections take place. Members have faith in me and I in them. I would win hands down. I trust God and fear none in this world.