Weavers threaten to launch agitation if demands not fulfilled

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Hyderabad, Sep 26 (UNI) The Andhra Pradesh Weavers United Front (WUF) today threatened to launch an agitation in the state, if Government failed to fulfill their long-pending demands.

Addressing a press conference here, WUF Chairman G Ramana Murthy said the front's state executive, in its meeting, has resolved to take out a big rally to Chirala in Prakasam district on November 23 to create awareness among the handloom workers about their rights.

He said three big rallies would also be taken out from Sircilla, Dharmavaram and Rajahmundry ten days before the main march, which will culminate on November 23 at Chirala.

Mr Murthy said the government had failed to fulfill their demands, which they had submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in April this year and also to state Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy on December 27, 2007, to fulfill their charter of 20 demands.

Now the state executive has decided to present charter of nine fresh demands, which included a grant of Rs 25,000 to each handloom worker for working capital, constitution of a weaver labour welfare board to provide pension and EPF facilities and to provide other welfare measures of the Handloom workers, Mr Murthy added.

The front also demanded the Government to waive off the loans of the weaving community, abolish the Income Tax on handlooms and exemption of VAT for yarn, including silk yarn, he said.

All India Weavers United Front President and MLC P Radhakrishna urged the State Government to convene a meeting with the representatives of the front to discsuss various issues pertaining to the handloom workers.

He urged the Government to establish big handloom malls and year- long handloom exhibitions in every district headquarters in the state, with 30 per cent rebate on handloom products to increase the sales of the handloom products.

UNI BR VA KVV GL KN1440

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