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Silk farmers oppose amendments to Silk Board Act

Written by: Staff
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Bangalore, Nov 23 (UNI) Allaying fears by sericulturists that the provisions of the Central Silk Board (CSB) (Amendment) Act 2006 will hit them badly, the CSB today asserted that the new rules which were still not in place would benefit the silk industry and considerably enhance production.

Talking to newspersons here, CSB Chairman H Hanumanthapppa and Member Secretary H Bhasker said the draft rules of the amended Act, now being circulated to State Governments to elicit their opinion, would also be discussed with farmers before the rules were notified.

However, fearing doomsday, silk farmers from Karnataka today told a separate conference that the new set of rules would badly affect small farmers who form over 70 per cent of the silk producers in the country.

On the contrary, Mr Hanumanthappa said a survey conducted by the Board had indicated that 95 per cent of farmers, reelers and weavers were in favour of the new rules as it would provide better returns to them.

The amendments envisaged opening up of the regulated cocoon market, registration of seed producers and imposition of conditions and requirements on them. Adequate provisions to this effect were already in place in the State legislation and the amendments would lead to duplication, overlapping and confusion, Karnataka Rytha Sangha General Secretary G C Byyareddy and others told newspersons.

He said the Centre's move, made under WTO pressure, would badly affect the silk farmers in the country. The silk farmers in the State had launched an agitation and they would be joined by farmers from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, the other two major raw silk producers in the country, to force the Government to drop the amendments.

He said the programming and planning of silkworm seed production should be left to the sole discretion of the State Governments which were in a better position to assess the requirement of seed and plan accordingly.

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