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Rs.10 a kg for paddy procured during current puncha season

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V.S. Achuthanandan says functioning of Headload Workers’ Welfare Fund Board will be streamlined.
V.S. Achuthanandan says functioning of Headload Workers’ Welfare Fund Board will be streamlined.

Special Correspondent

Tea estates to be exempted from plantation tax

Environment cleanliness drive ahead of the rains

Aid for Pothanikkad road accident victims

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Cabinet has decided to make the Rs.10 a kg procurement price for paddy, announced by the government earlier, applicable to the entire quantity of paddy procured or to be procured during the current puncha season.

Briefing presspersons on the decisions taken at a meeting of the Cabinet here on Friday, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said the paddy was procured at the beginning of the current season at Rs.9 a kg. The procurement price was later enhanced to Rs.10 a kg. Farmers from whom paddy was procured at the lower price this season too would be given the benefit of the revised price.

To guard against the recurrence of mosquito-borne diseases such as chikungunya during the monsoon season this year, the government would undertake a massive drive for environmental cleanliness in May, ahead of the arrival of the rains. The drive would be coordinated by the Clean Kerala Mission. Dr. Ajayakumar Varma, IAS officer, was being posted as the director of Clean Kerala Mission.

The Cabinet also decided to exempt tea estates from plantation tax, considering the crisis the tea industry was going through.

Assistance

Mr. Achuthanandan said the government would pay an assistance of Rs.1 lakh each to the families of the seven persons who were killed in a road accident at Pothanikkad, near Kothamangalam, in Ernakulam district last week. (The accident occurred when a truck ran into a Congress procession there.)

He said the functioning of the Headload Workers’ Welfare Fund Board would be streamlined by setting up a committee for each district, in addition to one exclusively for the Kochi port area.

Senior IAS officer K. Ramamurthy, who had returned to Kerala after completing his period of deputation at the Centre, would head the Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Department. He is an officer of the rank of Additional Chief Secretary.

The Cabinet also decided to post V.N. Jitendran as State director of National Employment Guarantee Mission.

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