Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha (KPRS) general secretary G.C. Bayya Reddy on Thursday expressed concern over the Centre's duty-free silk import policy. Terming the policy as unscientific, Mr. Bayya Reddy said it will spell doom to sericulturists in the country as well as other sectors connected with the silk industry.

Speaking after inaugurating a district-level convention of sericulturists and silk reelers, under the banner of the KPRS and the All India Struggle Committee Against Duty-free Silk Import, Mr. Bayya Reddy said a rally would be organised in front of the Central Silk Board in Bangalore on February 18 demanding revoking the anti-farmer policy.

Adverse impact

The controversial and unscientific policy is bound to have its adverse effect on the life of farmers in Kolar and Chickballapur district as they are among the major silk producing areas in the State, he said. The Centre, in its August 10, 2010, order, allowed import of 2,500 metric tonnes of duty-free silk from China to bridge the gap between demand and supply. On the other hand, a large quantity of silk is being smuggled into the country creating problems to sericulturists.Sericulturists from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are expected to take part in the agitation.