Ban duty-free import of silk, urge growers

Rational price of Rs 350 to 400 per kg of cocoon sought

Silk farmers and reelers submit a memorandum to Additional Director of Sericulture Nagesh on Tuesday. DH photo

Silk farmers and reelers staged a protest against duty-free import of silk at the premises of the cocoon market in Shidlaghatta, on Tuesday.

“The Central government  should immediately withdraw its resolution regarding the duty-free import of silk,” they demanded.

Addressing the protesters, the farmers’ leader Malluru Shivanna said both silk farmers and a host of others dependent on sericulture will be hit by the duty-free import of silk. If the Central government does not withdraw its decision soon,  struggle demanding ban on duty-free import will be intensified throughout the State.

Lakhs of silk farmers and reelers are dependent on sericulture industry for their livelihood. Farmers who are already leading precarious existence will be shattered with the implementation of duty-free import of silk, the protesters said.

Instead both the Centre and State governments should ensure scientific price for cocoons, they urged.

Indefinite strike warned

Warning indefinite strike against duty-free import of silk, silk farmers and reelers on Tuesday here submitted a memorandum to Additional Director of Sericulture Nagesh.
“Lakhs of families are dependent on sericulture industry. As a result, the Central government should impose 50 per cent import duty on silk. A price ranging from Rs 350 to 400 should be fixed for per kg of cocoon. Also, raw silk produced by reelers should be paid Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000,” the protesters demanded.

Pacifying the protesters Nagesh said silk farmers and reelers can discuss the issue at the meeting convened by Sericulture minister in Bangalore on March 5.

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