`10 paise bid' leads to losses

COCOONS APLENTY: Low-bidding rate has affected sericulturists.

COCOONS APLENTY: Low-bidding rate has affected sericulturists.  

MYSORE: Though 10 paise is not much in circulation these days, it has put sericulturists to hardship in the cocoon market. For, they claim they are incurring losses because of the "10 paise bid" followed in the auction of cocoons.

Sericulturists have vented their ire at the officials concerned for continuing with the "10 paise bid" resulting in huge losses to them and gains to silk reelers who participate in the auction. Followed since the market system for cocoon sale was put in place, sericulturists say the 10 paise increase in every bid made by reelers consumes more time and energy that results in no major gain for them.

According to B. Basavaraju, a sericulturist from Periyapatna taluk, the minimum bid should go up from 10 paise to at least Re. 1. This will give the producer a fair price for his produce. "If the prevailing price in the market is Rs. 140 a kg, with a minimum bid of 10 paise it takes a long time for the auction to end. There have been occasions when cocoon lots have witnessed over 50 bids and yet the farmer became richer by Rs. 5 only. The minimum bid should be Re. 1 which will help in realising a higher amount and a quicker auction," he says.

Mr. Basavaraju says the "10 paise bid" has been there for more than three decades, and the Government has not increased it though costs have gone up. Though officials claim that the minimum bid price has been raised to 50 paise and Re. 1, sericulturists disagree saying that it has not been done in the market. Despite a government order to increase the bid amount, the cocoon markets at Kollegal, Ramanagaram, Bangalore, Kolar and Sidlaghatta continue with the "10 paise bid." Sericulturists have receipts issued to them in the market as proof to debunk official statements.

Besides the bid money, sericulturists say they get a better price for their cocoons only if they agree to sell them on a credit basis. Mr. Basavaraj says though sericulturists get a good price, the credit will be for 20 days, and at times, it may go beyond a month. While the settlement has to be made in the market, sericulturists get money later.

Another major problem associated with cocoon marketing is the manner in which reelers are allowed to bid for cocoons. Mahadev of Grakahalli village in Srirangapatna taluk says officials are allowing reelers to compete in the bidding process without accepting the stipulated deposit money. This leads to the delay in payments to sericulturists as reelers take time to make the payment, he adds.

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