Mumbai: The government’s decision to ban export of milk powder and its derivative casein to restrain rising prices in the domestic market will result in a loss of around Rs 500 crore to exporters of milk products.

"India is the largest producer of milk. However, we export only a small percentage of the total production of milk products. The government ban on exports of skimmed milk powder (SMP) and casein will hit the exporters badly," said Indian Dairy Association Chairman (West Zone) Arun Patil.

Total production of milk powder and casein in India is around three-lakh metric tonnes. Of this, only 40,000 metric tonnes (mainly casein) is exported.

Last year, India exported milk powder and casein worth Rs 500 crore.

Instead of imposing a sudden ban, the government needs to form a policy to ensure that the production of milk is enhanced and the prices do not go up suddenly, he said.

The milk suppliers have already increased milk prices by Rs 2-3 per litre this month.

“The government has already chalked out a National Dairy Programme (NDP), entailing an investment of around Rs 18,500 crore to give thrust to bovine productivity and milk output. But, this has not been implemented so far," Patil said.