Support price: state to wait for Centre's decision

Support price: state to wait for Centre's decision

Support price: state to wait for Centre's decision
The state government will wait for the decision of the Union Cabinet on providing aid to growers of copra, coconut and arecanut, before deciding on its next step of action.

Copra, coconut and arecanut growers are in distress following a crash in prices. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had convened a meeting of the floor leaders, union ministers from the state on Tuesday to discuss the issue.

Briefing reporters, Law Minister T B Jayachandra said Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar told the meeting that the Union Cabinet, which is scheduled to meet in New Delhi on Wednesday, would take a decision on launching a Market Intervention Scheme to purchase the commodities .

“We will wait for the decision of the Union Cabinet and decide on our next move,” Jayachandra said. The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and the Green Brigade have sought a minimum support price of Rs 45,000 per quintal for arecanut and Rs 15,000 per quintal for copra.

The vehicles of BJP leaders B S Yeddyurappa and Jagadish Shettar, who attended the meeting at chief minister’s home office ‘Krishna’ were besieged by waiting farmers, who charged that the BJP had failed to raise their problem in parliament and legislature. The farmers said the NDA government had turned a blind eye to the hardships faced by the farmers. The BJP was only interested in protecting the interest of business tycoons, they charged.

‘Prices too high’
The Union Ministry of Agriculture is expected to take a call soon on what price the government agencies should procure arecanut under the market intervention scheme in Karnataka, reports DHNS from New Delhi.

A senior official from the ministry, who had visited Bengaluru recently to study the Karnataka government’s proposal for procurement of 40,000 tonnes, is of the view that the price of Rs 300 to Rs 400/kg proposed by the state government is too high.

In June, senior BJP leaders from Karnataka, including Union Minister Ananth Kumar, had demanded that the Centre take steps to check the sliding prices. Separately, the Karnataka government also submitted a proposal requesting the Centre to procure 28,000 tonnes of white supari at Rs 300 per kg and 12,000 tonnes of the red variety at Rs 400 per kg.

However, Kerala-based directorate of arecanut and spices development board recommended purchasing the produce at Rs 172 per kg.

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