Staff Reporter

Kerala neglected in food security scheme: Revenue Minister

THRISSUR: A special drive to clean all wells in Thrissur district, led by District Collector V.K. Baby, would begin next week. This is to ensure drinking water security, Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran.

At a seminar on ‘Job security scheme and agriculture sector’, at Thrissur Town Hall on Saturday, Mr. Rajendran said the government would put pressure on the Centre to include Thrissur and Kuttanad under the National Food Security Mission. “Production capacity and not area of cultivation should be the criterion for inclusion under the mission,” he said. Kerala is getting only a meagre share of the scheme.

The minister said that about 25,000 new jobs would be created at the information technology project, which would be started at Koratty, near Chalakkudy. “The much-awaited Kottappuram-Neeleswaram waterway becomes a reality soon. It will give a fillip to Thrissur’s development,” he said.

Mr. Rajendran said that the government will speed up the implementation of its projects. “Today’s problem is not unemployment but the unwillingness to work,” said Therambil Ramakrishnan, MLA. “We should rethink over the criteria for giving unemployment wages. It should be limited to people who cannot work. The rest of the fund could be utilised to increase the minimum wage under the national Employment Guarantee Programme, which was low compared to State’s standard.”

Prof. N. Ramakanthan of Kerala Institute of Local Administration said agriculture development is not possible without conservation of soil, water and natural resources. “We should be able to form a stable labour bank under the National Employment Guarantee Scheme,” he said.

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