Karnataka Government today said it has planned to take another all party delegation to the Centre to demand withdrawal of customs duty cut on imported silk and seek a ban on its import from China to help farmers in the State, who have been hit by crash in prices.

“Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa will soon lead an all-party delegation to the Centre to seek restoration of customs duty on imported silk to the earlier level of 30 per cent, instead of five per cent being levied now”, Minister for Sericulture and Labour B N Bacche gowda told a press conference in Bangalore.

Consequent to lowering to customs duty from 30 to five per cent, prices of raw silk and cocoons have slumped in Karnataka, which accounts for about 60 per cent of silk production in the country, causing severe hardship to growers as more Chinese silk was entering the market, he said.

Mr. Yeddyurappa had led an all party delegation to Delhi on March 21 to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with a similar demand and had also called on the Union Finance and Agriculture Ministers.

The government has so far released Rs 17 crore for market intervention by Karnataka Silk Marketing Board and the Chief Minister has promised to release another Rs 10 crore on June 13 to arrest fall in raw silk and cocoon prices, Mr. Gowda said.

After the government’s intervention, prices of cocoons have stabilised at Rs 200-240 per Kg and Rs 1800-2000 per kg of raw silk yarn, he said.

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