Coonoor: The United Planters’ Association of South India (UPASI), headquartered here has appealed to the Centre to bail out the plantation industry from the present financial crisis which the industry is facing now, due to many factors affecting the plantation sector.
UPASI president, AL RM Nagappan, said that the plantations are going through a quite stressful period as they face agrarian distress due to climate change, and are unable to fetch remunerative prices for the plantation products.
Majority of the estates are making huge losses and struggling to carry out their day-to-day operations, and make timely wage payments to workers. Prospects of improvement in prices in the near future are bleak, and they look forward for the immediate intervention of the government, he noted.
Substantial amounts are outstanding to the growers towards approved schemes of the commodity boards. As of now, Rs 55 crore is due for South India for tea alone. Allocations to the commodity boards are curtailed year after year, and the meagre additional allocation made to the commodity boards in the current budget will not be sufficient to clear at least the pending dues, he added.
Considering the seriousness of the situation in plantations, Nagappan, said UPASI has requested the Centre to sanction additional allocations to commodity boards to enable them to disburse overdue amounts to the South Indian plantations immediately.
This would go a long way in helping the South Indian growers tide over the critical financial crisis they are in today, to some extent, he pointed out....