S M Krishna to take up silk farmers' woes with Ministries

Scores of farmers today staged a dharna near the house of Krishna, a former Karnataka Chief Minister, and protested the Central budget's proposal of lowering the basic customs duty on raw silk from 30 per cent to five per cent.

The farmers said the measure would hit them badly. The delegation submitted a memorandum to Krishna, who promised that he would raise the issue with Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran.

The farmers wanted the Finance Minister to roll-back the move during reply to general discussion on the budget.

A leader of the farmers also demanded that the State government buy cocoons at Rs 400 per kg. The farmers said they are in distress following a steep fall in the price of cocoons in recent days.

Karnataka accounts for about half of India's raw silk production, according to officials.

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