Madikeri: The district Congress strongly opposed the Union Government’s move to introduce the Coffee Bill with aim to include coffee growers in tax payers’ list.
Raising objections against the Act, former district Congress President, B T Pradeep alleged, agricultural income is exempted from income tax, but with the government insisting on the registration of coffee growers clearly points towards its intention to include coffee growers in the tax payers list. The coffee board president’s position is only for namesake with the government appointed IAS officer occupying the position of secretary with all powers, he alleged.
The government is trying to promote multinational and large curers and are keen on shutting down the small scale huller units which are giving the large scale units a run for their money, he said.
Small growers approach small scale hullers for processing and most growers are reaping profits now. Once the bill is introduced, the growers will be left and high and dry as the large scale units will dictate terms on price, he alleged. He further urged the BJP MP from Mysuru to interact with the Union government and work against the implementation of the bill.
Pradeep said, the growers and paddy farmers are facing a lot of problems due too demonetisation and are unable to pay wages to the labourers working in fields.
Spice traders are unable to make payments to growers and agricultural related activities have come to a standstill, he alleged.
Though the committee members did not oppose demonetization, he felt it lacked foresight and proper implementation causing hardships to people. The members opposed BJP MP Pratap Simha’s remarks against former Congress MP H Vishwanth and felt that latter’s comments on PM were truly mistaken.
K M Lokesh, Madikeri block Congress president accused MP Pratap Simha of neglecting coffee growers by not listening to their woes.
Prominent Congress leaders Monnappa, Chethan and M A Usman were present in the press meet.