The Karnataka government on Wednesday demanded a ban on import of tur dal, saying the step is a must to arrest the crash in the price of the commodity and bring about its stability.
Speaking in the Legislative Assembly, Agriculture Minister Umesh V Katti suggested that the House adopt a resolution and taking an all-party delegation to the Centre to press the demand. “Despite continued procurement (of tur dal) by the State, which has announced a minimum support price, there is no stability in the prices, which have remained low,” Katti argued, adding a ban on import of the commodity would address the problem. Meanwhile, U T Khader and Kimmane Ratnakar (both Congress) and D N Jeevaraj (BJP) sought to highlight the plight of Arecanut farmers who, they said, needed to be given a package as yield has slumped sharply and plantations have been hit by yellow leaf disease.
Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, an Arecanut grower himself, urged the Centre to implement the report of the Gorakh Singh Committee, which studied the problems faced by Arecanut growers in the Western Ghat region. “The report has been kept in cold storage,” he said.
Gowda stressed the need to take an all-party delegation to the Centre to push the state’s case vis-a-vis issues such as ban on tur dal import, package for Arecanut growers, the position on Cauvery water dispute with Tamil Nadu, funds for drought relief works, among others.
Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah (Congress) immediately agreed to the proposal, adding a Congress delegation had recently visited New Delhi and met party President Sonia Gandhi. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is likely to announce an increase of import duty on raw silk from five per cent to 30 per cent during the reply to the discussion on the Union Budget, he said.