India: Cashew crisis in Kerala now a hard nut to crack
By Express News Service | Published: 21st January 2017 05:01 AM |
Last Updated: 21st January 2017 05:01 AM
KOLLAM: Cashew sector has dealt a double blow to the government. On one side conciliatory talks with private companies for reopening the factories have failed and on the other two public sector companies, Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) and Kerala State Cashew Workers Apex Industrial Co-operative Society Ltd (Capex), have closed down their factories sighting unavailability of raw nuts. According to officials with the two PSUs, corruption charges and related Vigilance inquiries have led to the closure.
“Anticipating the crisis, we had floated tenders for procuring raw nuts from the market. But sellers who had remitted the security deposit for the business pull themselves out in the last minute. Reason? They do not want to get involved in the legal tangles under way against the two PSUs. Any way we are floating new tenders,” said an official with Capex. Whereas, KSCDC says that it will open its new tender on January 26 and expects to open factories by February 1.
Meanwhile, KSCDC chairman S Jayamohan reiterates that unwanted controversies, meant to help the brokers, are derailing the functioning of the corporation as no competitive bidders turn up for quoting the tenders.
“Some private companies who do not pay even minimum wage to workers are behind the campaign. The financial liability we face now is due to the mismanagement in the past. The arrear in relation to gratuity is Rs 56 crore and in PF it is Rs 6 crore. The situation is such that due to back-toback complaints and related investigation, traders who have associated with the corporation in the past 10 years found themselves in the accused list. This has created doubts among new prospective sellers,” said Jayamohan.