EDEN IAS

SALT SECTOR CRISIS

UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS | SALT SECTOR CRISIS PINCHES LIVELIHOOD OF LAKHS | THE HINDU

SYLLABUS SECTION: GS III (INDIAN ECONOMY)

WHY IN THE NEWS?

In a study it has been found that farmers suffer due to a lack of Salt sector crisis minimum support price, workers are also in distress for want of a proper system for wages and social security.

SALT INDUSTRY IN INDIA:

  • India is third-largest producer of Salt in the World after China and USA.
  • During Indian independence days, India was importing salt from the UK. But since then the salt industry in India has achieved tremendous growth and has become self-sufficient and also exporting its surplus.
  • The major sources of Salt sector crisis:
  1. Sea brine
  2. Lake brine
  3. Sub-soil brine
  4. Rock salt deposits
  • Almost 99.5% of salt is produce either from the seawater or from the subsoil water and the entire process is done by seeding, cultivation and harvest.
  • The major salt-producing states are Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and West Bengal.
  • Gujarat produces nearly 28.5 million tones of salt a year, which is about 80% of India’s total production.
  • About five lakh people currently work in the salt industry
  • It is estimate that 87.6% of the total number of salt producers are small-scale producers.
  • Salt list under the Union List of the seventh schedule of the Constitution of India.

CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH THE SALT INDUSTRY:

  • The salt industry is currently facing huge challenges in meeting the demand and in addressing the crisis faced by salt farmers.
  • At present, India produces 36 million tonnes of salt and its demand is increasing at the rate of 8% but the production is increasing at just 3%.
  • This is expect to create a demand and supply gap in the coming years.
  • Currently, farmers are facing low prices problem as there is no minimum support price (MSP).
  • The workers are affective because of the lack of an adequate system for wages and social security benefits.
  • Archaic Laws: Even after 75 years of Independence, the laws governing the salt industry are the ones that were fram by the British.
  • Currently, only about 0.5% of salt is produce through mining.

SOURCE: THE HINDU

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