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`Self-financing' to kill organised sector: VS

By Our Staff Reporter

KOLLAM Aug. 5. The culture of "self-financing" would destroy the organised sector besides spelling doom for the State, the Leader of the Opposition, V.S. Achuthanandan, has said.

Inaugurating the ninth State conference of the Kerala Coir Workers Centre (KCWC) here today, he said the education sector had already become a casualty and the cooperative sector too was becoming vulnerable to the self-financing culture.

If the Government could take steps to procure 60 per cent of the husks produced in the State, it would result in providing 240 days of employment a year to the coir workers, he said adding that not even 30 per cent of the husks produced were being procured.

Instead, the Minister was all about initiating measures to import husks from Sri Lanka and Mali to revive the coir sector.

Alleging that whenever the UDF came to power, coir workers were being exploited, he said not even half of the minimum wages as per the law— Rs. 124— was being paid. However, the Government was criticising the coir workers for resorting to agitations demanding an increase in wages.

Mr. Achuthanandan said the workers had no other option but to intensify their agitation.

Earlier while welcoming the delegates, the CPI(M) leader, J. Mercykutty, said the UDF Government was turning a blind eye to the problems being faced by the coir sector. She said the conference would deliberate and recognise the need for a stronger agitation in the coir sector in order to protect the rights of the workers.

The KCWC general secretary, Anathalavattom Anandan, presented the report. P. Rajendran, MP, the CPI(M) State committee member, S. Sarma, the Karshaka Sangam State president, M. K. Bhaskaran, and the CPI(M) district secretary, K. Rajagopal, spoke.

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