"Revive Jaffna palmyra, coconut industry"- TNA MP

[TamilNet, Friday, 29 October 2004, 12:34 GMT]
Jaffna district Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian Mr.Suresh Premachchandran Friday wrote to the Chairman of the Coconut and Palmyra Development Societies Federation, Provincial Commissioner of Co-operative Development and the Government Agent the urgency of reviving the palmyra and coconut industry in the peninsula, which is currently being neglected by the government and other related agencies, sources said.

About twelve thousand are enrolled as members of the federation but it is financially unsound even to pay salaries to its employees, Mr.Premachchandran said in his letter.

Nineteen Palmyra and Coconut Development Co-operatives Societies are now in the federation. These societies earlier engaged in the production of several by-products from toddy. All machineries were destroyed in the two decade-old war. At a time the price of sugar is on the increase the production of sugar from Palmyra toddy could be seen as an alternate. However the Rehabilitation Ministry or any other non-governmental organization has failed to come forward to resurrect the ailing palmyra and coconut industry, Mr.Suresh Premachchandran pointed out in his letter.

He said the balance toddy after the sale is diverted to the Tikkam Distillery for the production of arrack by co-operative societies. However the Tikkam Distillery administration pays to co-operative societies with bottles of arrack to the value of toddy. This has created problem to the co-operative societies that sell arrack without licence. Employees of these societies are charged in law courts for selling liquor and being fined and imprisoned. Tikkam distillery, which is empowered to sell arrack, should take necessary action to provide the same facility to other societies, Mr.Premachchandran stressed in his letter.

Concerted effort should be taken by all parties concerned to revive the industry, appealed Mr.Suresh Premachchandran.


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