Grape growers in India want financial aid from government, or elseStaff writer ▼ | August 4, 2015
Grape farmers of 22 districts, piqued by the government’s failure to give them financial relief, have resolved to give a week to the Siddaramaiah government to address the issue.
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“Ever since the Congress came to power, we have been asking them to waive off interest on loans borrowed from banks. The government, except rendering lip service, has not done anything so far,” he remarked.
He said that about a year ago, the government had promised to get the interest on loans waived, but the promise has not been fulfilled.
Mr. Nandrekar said that recently a delegation of grape growers, accompanied by about 10 MPs of grape growing districts, met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Delhi and urged him to waive off the loans.
“He replied that the government could consider giving a special package on a cost-sharing basis with the Karnataka government ready to bear some cost,” he said.
He informed that when the same information was conveyed to Mr. Siddaramaiah, he did not give any satisfactory reply, saying that he would be taking an all-party delegation to Delhi soon to discuss with the Union government.
Mr. Nandrekar said that the growers would wait only for a week. If the State government failed to take a delegation, then the agitation would be intensified against the government.
Grape growers of the district had demanded that the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee start trading of raisins from Raisin Online Trading Centre in Vijayapura within a week.
“Else, we will boycott the selling and see that the raisin is not sold at the APMC yard by grape growers. The APMC spent about Rs. 2.5 crore to build the centre, but even today, no facilities have been given to traders,” said Abhaykumar Nandrekar, president Karnataka State Grape Growers’ Association.
He said that the APMC must install grading and raising storing machines at the centre which would help the growers to earn higher revenue. ■