Centre likely to implement package for coffee soon

Addressing a press meet on Thursday, Coffee Board members Tara Ayyamma, Chandramathi Ganesh, Nanda Belliappa and Fayaz Moosa Kutti said Coffee Board had recommended the Central government to waive off the loan and interest of the coffee growers borrowed after 2002. The delegation of Coffee Board will meet Commerce Minister on January 27, demanding the  implementation of coffee package.

They said “The Centre has already prepared a coffee package of Rs 502.84 crore. Along with the coffee package, the growers loan and interests must be waived. The package should be revised.   We will urge the Centre to revise the package and announce it at the earliest.”

Members said “the Coffee Board delegation had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the first week of January. PM has constituted 14 member minister’s sub committee to look into the implementation of the package. Based on the recommendation of the committee, Centre will announce the package for coffee.”

They said the coffee Board has discussed in length over the loss of coffee harvest owing to the unseasonal rains that lashed in the last week of December. State government will be urged to announce compensation for the loss of coffee harvest in 2007-08, and 2009.

In the backdrop of shortage of labourers to work in coffee estates, Coffee Board has urged the Central government to provide 50 per cent financial assistance for the mechanisation. The request of the Coffee Board will be considered by the Centre, they added.

The members said Centre had earmarked Rs 5 crore to distribute as scholarships for the children of estate labourers and small growers owning less than 5 acre land in 11th Five year plan. Every year Rs one crore is being spent. Rs 14,28,000 has been sanctioned to Kodagu district to be distributed as scholarship, they added.

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