Withdraw import duty concession on modified starch, demands Thangkabalu

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president and Salem MP K.V. Thangkabalu has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to withdraw import duty concession on modified starch to help tapioca farmers of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.

The reduction in duty from 50 per cent to 20 by the Centre had affected the livelihood of 10 lakh tapioca farmers in Tamil Nadu, a leading tapioca producer in the country. In Salem alone, there were at least 1200 starch production units, he pointed out in a memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister here on Tuesday. He also urged the Prime Minister to allow the profit-making Salem unit of the public sector Burn Standard Company Limited to function either as an independent unit or merge it with the Salem Steel Plant. He wanted the Centre to increase the minimum support price (MSP) for sugar cane with 9 per cent recovery to Rs.1600 per tonne from Rs.811.80.

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