Coir Workers demand support price and modernisation

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Alappuzha: Workers in the coir sector have urged the Government to introduce minimum support price for yarn and speed up the process of modernisation to help them tackle increasing competition from neighbouring States.

They raised the demand at a face-to-face interaction with Minister for Revenue and Coir, Shri Adoor Prakash on the concluding day of the Coir Kerala 2015 trade event in Alappuzha.

The Minister noted that the government has been distributing electronic spinning machines via cooperatives and all of the applications received so far have been processed. The government will continue offering machines to eligible applicants under the scheme.

Neighbouring Tamil Nadu is emerging as Kerala’s fiercest competitor in the coir sector producing most of the coir using sophisticated machinery which it sells at lower prices than coir produced here using traditional, labour-intensive methods, the workers pointed out.

They said by introducing mechanised processes more widely in the State it would be possible to double production at the least and sell at very competitive prices. The coir workers also called for the introduction of minimum support prices along the lines of support given to the rubber industry.The Minister assured that the government will give the suggestion serious consideration.

He noted that many of the concerns regarding basic infrastructure for working employees, raised at a similar interaction last year, had largely been addressed. However, the workers pointed out that the work sheds constructed for them were being taxed by the panchayats, putting additional financial burden on them.

The Minister promised to raise the matter on a priority basis with the Chief Minister and the Minister for Panchayats.

He also pledged to consider the demand of cooperative societies to offer more working days and productivity-linked wages to encourage efficient workers; and address concerns about slow procurement through Coirfed.

More than 1,500 coir workers, representatives of cooperatives and private businesses took part in the interaction. Dr. K Madanan, Director of Coir Development; A K Rajan, Chairman, KSCWWFB; M K Abdul Gafoor Haji Vice Chairman, Apex Body for Coir; D Sugathan, Chairman, KSCMMC; K R Rajendra Prasad, Chairman, KSCC; and K R Anil, Director, NCRMI, joined the minister in interacting with the workers.

Kerala Biz News

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