Staff Reporter

Sangam to hold a demonstration in Dharmapuri on February 13

ERODE: The State Government has abolished monopoly paddy procurement and is procuring paddy from one or two taluks in a district. Because of this, the farmers are affected. The system should be reintroduced in Tamil Nadu, general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Vivasayeegal Sangam, affiliated to CPI, V. Durai Manickkam has said.

Talking to mediapersons here on Saturday, he said already due to severe drought in Tamil Nadu, agricultural labourers had migrated to Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Hariyana and other States.

Now, due to continuous rain and flood, the remaining agricultural labourers had migrated to other States. He wanted the State Government to take necessary steps to bring back the labourers and provide them employment.

Cases filed

He said the CPI and the Sangam had complained to the State Government that 22 farmers had committed suicide due to the drought. But, the Government had registered cases against the opposition leaders over the issue. The cases were still in the court. Mr. Manickkam wanted the Government to withdraw such cases.

He wanted the Government to evict encroachments in tanks and ponds and facilitate storage of water by deepening them. The Union Government should arrange for linking of rivers in the southern States.

Further, at present the Udagamandalam green tea growers were getting only Rs. 4 per kg of green leaves. The Central and State Government should fix the rate at Rs. 15 per kg. To highlight these issues, the Sangam will hold a demonstration in Dharmapuri on February 13.

Loan waiver sought

Though Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had announced that the farmers would be given 30 per cent more crop loans, the bankers were granting only 18 per cent more funds. This should be enhanced to 30 per cent. Due to the drought and flood, the farmers had been affected. Hence, the crop loan with interest should be waived immediately. He also urged the Union Government to grant sufficient funds to Tamil Nadu for the flood-affected victims from the Natural Calamity Fund.

Elected

The three-day State Conference of the Sangam held at Perundurai unanimously elected the following persons as office-bearers: S. Gunasekaran - president; P. Pakkirisamy, Rajendran and C.M. Thulasimani - vice-presidents; Durai Manickkam - general secretary and P.T. Rajendran -treasurer.

Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry E.V.K.S. Elangovan and others spoke at the conference, which concluded on Friday.

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