`Plea on levy on tobacco farmers accepted'

BANGALORE DEC. 4. T.B. Jayachandra, Special Representative of the State in New Delhi, has said the State Government has been taking keen interest to redress the grievances of farmers who are facing drought for the third year in succession.

In a press release, Mr. Jayachandra has said that the Chief Minister, S.M. Krishna, had urged the Centre to impose only one per cent service charge on unregistered tobacco growers in the State on a par with the service charge for registered growers. Accepting the appeal, the Commerce Ministry issued a notification dated November 27 imposing one per cent service charge.

The Commerce Ministry imposed a high penalty of 15 per cent in addition to Rs. 2 per kg. during 2001, and two per cent plus Rs. 2 per kg. in 2002. This year, the penalty is Rs. 1.50 per kg. on unregistered growers.

Mr. Jayachandra has said that the State Government will request the Centre to amend the notification to cancel the penalty of Rs. 1.50 per kg. and retain only one per cent service charge on a par with that for registered growers.

He has urged unregistered tobacco growers not to sell their produce in the name of registered growers. They should sell their produce in their names to prevent deterioration in the quality of "Mysore tobacco''.

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