Sharath S. Srivatsa
138 employees have not been paid for 10 months
MYSORE: Outlets of Horticulture Produce Marketing and Processing Cooperative Society (HOPCOMS) here are in trouble.
For, the financial crisis in HOPCOMS has left a large number of employees without salary, and the sale of vegetables and fruits has remained average in the past few months.
The trouble in the Mysore District Horticulture Produce Marketing and Processing Cooperative Society started when district HOPCOMS across the State were bifurcated from Bangalore HOPCOMS three years ago leaving little capital fund for managing the business. A ray of hope for farmers during the glut, HOPCOMS outlets have been providing quality vegetables at an affordable price to consumers.
Sources in HOPCOMS told The Hindu that 138 employees of whom 50 were daily wage earners had not received their salary for 10 months. Even the salary that had been disbursed to some employees was partial and not on time. Mismanagement by office-bearers in the past was said to be the reason for the crisis.
There are 42 HOPCOMS outlets in the city, and one each in T. Narasipura and Nanjangud. The outlet at K.R. Nagar has been closed. It is learnt that through these outlets, HOPCOMS has been selling four tonnes of vegetables and fruits daily after procuring them from farmers of Mysore, Chamarajanagar and Mandya districts. According to the employees, several pleas made to the authorities in the Department of Cooperation and the Chief Ministers in recent years had been ignored. Petitions to revive the HOPCOMS by merging it again with the Bangalore HOPCOMS had not been considered, they said.
The sources said the Mysore HOPCOMS should transact around eight tonnes of vegetables and fruits daily to ensure that that the salary was disbursed on time. Paucity of capital to buy vegetables from farmers and sell them had reduced the quantity of produce being sold in the outlets of HOPCOMS.
The outlets in Mysore could easily meet the eight-tonne target if adequate capital was pumped into the HOPCOMS, they added.
Administrative Officer of HOPCOMS Prakash Rao said the Mysore HOPCOMS was facing financial crisis owing to inadequate capital.