Kerala

Plantation Directorate gets special officer

To kick-start activities of the Plantation Directorate to ensure effective intervention in the plantation sector, the government on Wednesday appointed Director of Industry and Commerce S. Harikishore as its special officer.

An official statement from the office of Industries Minister P. Rajeeve said steps would be initiated to reopen all closed plantations in the State. Administrative measures would be taken to make the plantation sector, which has been recognised as an industry, profitable and create more employment opportunities.

Steps would also be made to ensure fair prices and insurance cover for commercial crops. The wages of the plantation workers would be revised at regular intervals in consultation with the Labour department.

The scope of the newly constituted directorate would also include matters that had been approved in the plantation policy such as plantation tax, agricultural income tax, building tax, seniority, lease renewal, mixed crops etc.

The Industries department had earlier accorded administrative sanction of ₹2 crore for policy formulation on crop diversification in the sector. The latest plantation policy also included aspects of conservation and social forestry schemes, along with protection of employment as well as the sector as a whole.

Steps were also being taken to include the plantation sector in various schemes of local self-governments to improve the basic facilities of workers. All benefits available to general industry sector too would be extended to the plantation sector.

A coordination committee comprising representatives of the government, various crop boards, labour unions, and employers would be constituted to monitor the expansion of the sector. Projects would be developed in collaboration with the Forest and Wildlife department to ward off wild animal attacks.

Options were also being explored to set up agro-biodiversity parks in plantations under the public sector.


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Printable version | Aug 3, 2022 10:16:26 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/plantation-directorate-gets-special-officer/article65690934.ece