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Beedi workers' forum seeks ISEC report implementation

Our Bureau

Recommends dearness allowance to workers

Mangalore , April 26

The Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts Beedi Workers' Protection Forum has urged the State Government to implement the recommendations of the ISEC (Institute for Social and Economic Change) report on beedi industry.

Before implementing the report, the Government should discuss the institute's recommendations by convening a meeting of all the stakeholders, including labour unions, beedi companies and people's representatives.

Addressing newspersons here on Wednesday, Ms P. Hemavathy, Chief Convenor of the forum, said ISEC had submitted the report to the Government in March 2005. Stressing the need for the implementation of the report, she said this would help alleviate the problems of the beedi industry in the State.

Dearness allowance

She urged the beedi companies to disburse dearness allowance to workers from April 2004 to June 2005 as directed by the Government.

The Karnataka Labour Minister, who had convened a meeting of stakeholders in this regard on January 29, 2004, had directed the beedi companies to pay the dearness allowance for the said period.

Job guarantee

The State Government should ensure that every beedi worker gets minimum six days of work in a week, she said, and demanded that beedi workers be brought under the Employment Guarantee Scheme.

At present, those companies with a production capacity of up to 20 lakh beedis get tax concession.

Ms Hemavathy sought the removal of this tax concession. She said some of the beedi companies are misusing this benefit, though they produce more than 20 lakh beedis.

Of the four-lakh beedi workers in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts, only 2.33 lakh workers have identity cards. Identity cards should be provided to others also, she added.

More Stories on : Tobacco | Agricultural Policy | Karnataka

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