Kerala

₹112-cr. allocation for coir sector

The coir sector has received a major thrust in the State Budget for 2021-22.

Presenting the Budget on Friday, Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac said that coir production in the State would soon touch 50,000 tonnes. “The production in the coir industry has increased to 30,000 tonnes from 7,000 tonnes in 2015-16. This will rise to 50,000 tonnes in 2021-22. At least 10,000 additional jobs will be generated. Coir workers in the State are getting ₹300 a day with the assistance of Income Support Scheme and the same will be increased to an average of ₹500 without any subsidy,” Dr. Isaac said.

An amount of ₹112 crore is allocated for the coir sector in 2021-22. This includes ₹41 crore for mechanisation and ₹38 crore as price fluctuation fund. In addition to this, ₹50 crore from Coir Board for cluster formation and ₹100 crore from the National Cooperative Development Corporation will be made available for the industry.

Coir cluster

The Budget proposes to set up an extensive coir cluster on 10 acres of land at the Industrial Growth Centre, Pallippuram. A factory for the commercial production of coir binder-less boards will be set up at Kanichukulangara. Besides, 10 mechanised cooperative production factories will be started in 2021-22. A special scheme for the renovation of small-scale production units will be formulated. For this, ₹20 crore is specially earmarked.

Dr. Isaac said that total mechanisation was progressing in the sector. The number of coir mills is set to increase to 300, automatic spinning machines to 4,000 and automatic looms to 200.

Digital coir fair

He said that efforts to identify new markets needed to be intensified. With the aim of expanding the market for geo-textiles, a coir fair will be organised digitally in Alappuzha in February. “It is going to be first of its kind in the country at the time of COVID-19,” the Minister said.

‘Traditional workers ignored’

P.V. Sathyanesan, general secretary, Kerala State Coir Thozhilali Federation (AITUC), said that the Budget had failed to ensure the welfare of traditional coir workers. “The Budget gives a lot of thrust to mechanisation. But at the same time, no measures have been announced to deal with the shortage of coconut husk, the basic raw material for coir production, and its procurement,” Mr. Sathyanesan said.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 7:50:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/112-cr-allocation-for-coir-sector/article33580897.ece

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