Indian salt industry is facing many challenges
The livelihood of lakhs of people is at risk due to the crisis in the salt sector.
Farmers and workers engaged in salt industry are facing crisis due to lack of proper arrangements for wages and social security.
At present, India is the third largest salt producer in the world after the US and China.
Gujarat produces about 80% of the country’s salt. Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Himachal Pradesh are the other major salt producing states.
In Himachal and Rajasthan, salt is produced by mining. On the other hand, other coastal states produce salt through the process of solar-evaporation of seawater.
The major sources of salt in India:
Sea salt, lake salt, sub-soil salt and rock salt deposits.
Salt is listed in the Union List of the 7th Schedule of the Constitution. Thus the central government controls all aspects of the salt industry. The Office of the Salt Commissioner, an attached office under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has been entrusted with the above work. The government had freed the salt industry from the licensing system in the year 1996-97.
The salt industry is facing the following problems:
- Archaic Laws: The laws governing the salt industry were made by the British.
- Price support is lacking.
- Occupational health hazards: Chronic dermatitis or ‘dermatitis’ (skin ulcers), premature loss of vision and enlargement of the cornea, etc.
Source – The Hindu