The Central Government's move of reducing import duty on raw silk from 30 percent to 5.15 percent through its 2011-12 Budget has come as a major blow to the sericulture industry of Himachal Pradesh.
The effects of the Central Government's move were visible in the declining silk cocoon prices, as the autumn crop arrived in the market this year, Himachal Pradesh Minister for Industries Kishan Kapoor said.
He informed that the move has impacted livelihood of more than 9,000 sericulture farmers of Himachal Pradesh, who are directly engaged in cocoon cultivation in the State, particularly in lower hills of Mandi, Hamirpur, Bilaspur, Sirmaur and Kangra districts.
Moreover, the Central Silk Board has also failed to come out with a participatory proposal offering a minimum support price (MSP) to cocoon producers. Thus, silk cultivation did not remain much lucrative any more, Mr. Kapoor said, and added that at present there is no proposal for offering MSP to the State's silk cocoon producers.
Tamilnadu, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir and Maharashtra are the other Indian States engaged in sericulture.
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India