Thiruvananthapuram: The state government has urged the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to grant transport subsidy for coir and coir products so that these traditional products could be sold at competitive prices in other parts of the state. The demand was raised during the visit of commerce secretary Ms Rita Teaotia’s visit to the state on Friday. Such a facility is available for the jute industry in North India. Now, coir is procured from coir workers and sold in other parts of the country at a higher price because of the transportation costs involved. “The subsidy will make our products competitive across the country,” a top finance department official said. Chief secretary S. M. Vijayanand handed over detailed note on the coir crisis to Ms Teaotia here on Friday.
The state finance department had already inked a deal with Uttar Pradesh Cooperative Federation Limited (UPCF) for the marketing of coir products produced locally in the state. The objective was to ensure that nearly 10,000 coir workers would get a minimum of 200 days employment a year. The state's coir products will now be sold through the 10,000-odd outlets of UPCF. The state is selling the products to UPCF at the procurement price, and also foots the marketing charges. “This would entail a fiscal burden on the state, which the proposed subsidy could ease,” the official said. The handloom coir products procured by the Coir Corporation is now being taken at the state's cost to UPCF's regional godowns in UP.