Special Correspondent

KOCHI: Several proposals in the budget, including the hike in prices of petrol and diesel, will adversely affect the rice mill sector, according to

The Kalady Rice Millers Consortium Private Limited.

N.P. George, director, urged the government to adopt measures to help the sector.

He said the rates applicable to the work under the paddy procurement scheme of Supplyco were inadequate.

Mills were getting processing charge of 65 paise a kg, transportation charge of Rs.350 a tonne and Rs.14 for a new bag.

He said the millers were incurring a processing charge of Rs.1.25 a kg, transportation charge of Rs.450 a tonne and the cost of new bag was Rs.28.

The government was imposing one per cent tax on the millers. According to present estimates, the government would get a maximum of Rs.5 crore as tax while it would have to spend an equal sum for collecting the tax.

It would be beneficial to the millers if the tax was removed.