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Coffee growers seek relief package from Centre


Reeling under the impact of erratic climate, weak prices and rising production costs, coffee growers have sought relief measures such as interest waiver and restructuring of all loans from the Centre.

In a virtual presentation to the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday, representatives of growers associations and Coffee Board chairman explained the current crisis faced by the sector and sought the Centre’s intervention. The Covid lockdown has only aggravated the crisis in the sector, where the price realisations are in tandem with the global prices.

Seeking restructuring of all crop and development loan into a single term loan, growers urged the Finance Minister to consider a relief on the lines of Special Coffee Term Loan package implemented during 2002 by the NDA government. They also urged her to reduce interest rate on such loans to 3 per cent.

Further, they also requested the FM to repeal the 7B(1) of the IT Rules 1962 to encourage growers to take up value addition, besides urging to extend incentive under MEIS scheme till the proposed RODTEP scheme is implemented.

Representatives of UPASI, Karnataka Planters’ Association, MPs and MLAs of coffee growing districts of Karnataka participated in the virtual meeting. “The FM gave us a patient hearing and we are optimistic that she will come back with something concrete for the sector,” said Karnataka Planters’ Association chairman Shirish Vijayendra.


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