THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Opposition on Wednesday staged a walkout of the Assembly after the Speaker denied permission for the adjournment motion moved by former minister Adoor Prakash. Leading the walkout, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala said the state government and the Finance Minister is not keen on the coir sector and cited this as the reason behind the rejection of the adjournment motion on Coir.
Chennithala said Thomas Isaac does not know the practical difficulties faced by the coir workers even though his doctoral thesis is coir. The Opposition Leader asked the minister to call an urgent meeting of all concerned in the coir sector, including trade unions and to understand the practical difficulties faced by the sector.
He said Arattupuzha, Vaikom and Chiryankeezhu coir were brands in international markets and presently this sector is struggling for survival. Earlier, bringing the adjournment motion, former Coir Minister Adoor Prakash stated there are several issues plaguing the sector and called upon the minister to raise the wages of coir workers from the `300 per day.He said middlemen are collecting volumes of used coconut at reduced prices of 80 paise to `1 and sell at Tamil Nadu at a rate of `3.50. This is later converted into husks and brought back to Kerala at a much higher rate. He called upon the government to stop the smuggling of coconut to the neighbouring states.
Adoor Prakash also said Isaac had conducted several agitations against the Care Coir project during the UDF regime and said at present the government is also conducting similar exercise.Isaac said the present LDF government has done everything for the coir sector and added that Adoor Prakash and the UDF have not properly conducted a homework before raising the allegations.
He said even the maternity assistance for coir workers have been raised from `1000 to `10,000. Isaac said the Income Support Scheme is properly implemented by the LDF Government.The minister said the wages of coir workers have been raised to `350 per day instead of `300 and said the government is planning to increase the wages - may be `500 in the near future.Deputy Leader of the Opposition M K Muneer, Anoop Jacob and Mons Joseph joined the Opposition Leader in the walkout.