Government asks MPs from State to mount pressure on Centre to concede demand

The State government has urged the MPs from the State to mount pressure on the Centre for carving out an exclusive railway zone for the State, Rural Development Minister K. C. Joseph has said.

Briefing reporters about the deliberations at the MPs’ conference held here on Tuesday to discuss the issues to be raised at the monsoon session of Parliament, Mr. Joseph said that there was no dispute over the headquarters of the zone and it will be set up at a place acceptable for all. The Central government has not yet got the report of the committee appointed by the government for setting up railway zones. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy who chaired the session sought the MPs’ cooperation to take up the issue with the Centre.

The import duty on rubber has been fixed at 20 per cent or Rs. 20 per kg whichever is less. The meeting resolved to urge the Centre to fix the duty at 20 per cent itself. The State government had sought Rs. 607 crore to overcome the damage caused by the monsoon. Though the State was eligible only for Rs.403 crore, the meeting decided to seek assistance as per the report and also include compensation for sea erosion and deaths due to lightening strike in the Central norms.

Steps for expediting work on the Kanjikode coach factory was yet another demand set by the State government. The delay in starting the work was a matter of concern. The hurdles thrown up by the banks in the State in waiving the interest on the education loan of students with an annual income up to Rs.3 lakh will be raised in Parliament. Since road works under Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana in the State have been completed, the State will demand for inclusion in the second phase. The issue of granting central assistance for the kole farmers in Thrissur too would be taken up, he said.

Union Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies K. V. Thomas who attended the meeting explained the significance of the Food Security Act and said that there will be no cut in the Central grain quota to the State.

Steps for distributing food and providing medical care to the tribes of Attapady too were discussed. Except Union Ministers A .K .Antony, Shashi Tharoor and E.Ahamed and M.I.Shanavas, MP, all UDF MPs were present. LDF MPs boycotted the meeting.

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