Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan announced here on Tuesday that the State government would enhance the daily wages of coir workers in Kerala.

Inaugurating the State-level distribution of ‘thrift-share-gratuity' for coir workers at a function held at Chirayinkeezhu near here, he said the current daily wage of Rs.100 for coir workers was far too inadequate, considering the prices of essential commodities. Mr. Achuthanandan said the distribution of ‘thrift-share-gratuity' would benefit 1.5 lakh coir workers. “The government has earmarked Rs.9 crore for the purpose. We are proud that the coir sector is looking up after years of neglect. The LDF government increased their wages from Rs.70 to Rs.100. Steps have been taken to procure products manufactured by small-scale manufacturers”

Fibre from Tamil Nadu

The Chief Minister said Coirfed had adopted measures to import fibre from Tamil Nadu and make it available to coir cooperative societies at subsidised rate. Pension for coir workers had been increased from Rs.100 to Rs.300 and they were being brought under the health insurance scheme.

Mr.Achuthanandan said the LDF was opposed to the UPA government's ‘survival of the fittest' policy.

“The dismantling of the administered price mechanism for fuel was part of the Centre's policy of taking away subsidies, freeing the market and paving the way for competition to enhance the growth rate. The LDF government does not believe in this kind of development or competition. Our objective is development that ensures the welfare of all sections of society.”

He said the State government had succeeded in eliminating the problem of unemployment in the traditional sector. Cooperation Minister G. Sudhakaran distributed thrift share to coir workers. Food Minister C. Divakaran distributed de-fibering machines.