Dal mill owners have demanded that the government declare dal mills an agriculture-based industry to safeguard the interests of mill owners as well as red gram growers.

At a meeting at the Hyderabad Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industries (HKCCI) here recently, mill owners and HKCCI office-bearers unanimously decided that declaring their operations as an agriculture activity was is the only option to save the crisis-ridden mills. The meeting also endorsed some recommendations made by the Deputy Commissioner of Kalaburagi, such as exemption from payment of APMC cess for dal mills for five years; payment of an incentive of Rs. 200 a quintal to all dal units which have restarted production for three years; discount of Rs. 2 a unit in the power bill for five years; considering dal mills as priority zone for sanction of loans by banks; and considering power connection up to 99 HP as LT connection.

The Deputy Commissioner has also recommended extending the time period for declaring the default loans of a dal mill as non-performing asset from three to nine months; bearing of 50 % interest burden by the government to rejuvenate the dal industry; and scaling down the cap from 2,000 quintals to 500 quintals to file tender for stocks under the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd.

The owners and office-bearers expressed dissatisfaction with the government delay in taking concrete decisions based on the recommendations.

“We have decided to approach Priyank Kharge, Minister of Social Welfare, who hails from the same region, and will draw his attention to the problems being faced by the dal industry,” said Amarnath C. Patil, president, HKCCI.

HKCCI secretary Shashikanth B. Patil, vice-president Sharanabasappa M. Pappa, joint secretary Ravikumar Sarasambi and others were present.

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