The salt workers of Orissa have demanded the State government to declare salt manufacturing as part of agricultural sector.
The salt producers and labourers working in salt production alleged that they are not getting benefits of developmental projects meant for agricultural workers as salt production is yet to be considered part of agricultural activity in the State.
The ‘Ganjam Labana Utpadana Chasi Mulia Sangathan', an organisation of workers involved in salt production in Ganajm district has decided to press upon the State government for it.
This organisation also criticised the State government for not fixing the daily wages of salt workers of the State. According to its members they are facing exploitation at the hands of private lease holders of salt beds due to it. They also wanted the State government to fix up the procurement price of salt produced in the State.
The organisation alleged that due to lack of promotion salt production was on the decline in the State.
Around 40,000 tonnes of salt gets produced in Orissa, which is a small portion of its total salt need.
Major chunk of the salt produced in Orissa comes from Ganjam district as salt production as a profession has stopped in other areas of the State.
Ganjam district's salt beds are located in two stretches on the coast line.
One stretch is near the Ganjam and Humma area, while the other is near Sorala-Somandi. Salt is produced through cooperatives as well as by private companies in these areas.
Apart from Ganjam district, salt is also produced in small quantity in Balasore district.
The salt beds near Astarang in Puri district have stopped production.