Centre to set up corpus to stabilise silk prices

After meeting with a delegation comprising leaders from the Karnataka Pradesh Congress, the Minister said that if the Karnataka government submitted a proposal to the Centre, they would approve it immediately.

Once the corpus was set up, the state could intervene by announcing a minimum support price every time there was a decrease in the price of silk cocoons in the market, which would finally stabilise the market.

Mukherjee also promised to increase the import duty on raw silk from 5 per cent to 30 per cent in the next budget.

The delegation led by former minister D K Shivakumar also met the External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Rahman Khan, Labour Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge and Minister of State for Railway K H Muniyappa urging them to exert pressure on the Finance Minister to bail the silk farmers out of their present crisis.  MPs from the state, H Vishwanath and Dhruvanarayan also accompanied the delegation. 

Explaining the woes of the silk farmers, D K Shivakumar said since more than 11 lakh farmers were engaged in sericulture in Karnataka alone, the government should take immediate measures to help the farmers overcome the problems arising out of the crash in silk prices.

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