INLD demands hike in sugarcane price, farmers stall supply to mills

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SummaryThe Opposition INLD in Haryana Tuesday demanded adequate increase in sugarcane price to ensureremunerative returns to farmers.

The Opposition INLD in Haryana Tuesday demanded adequate increase in sugarcane price to ensureremunerative returns to farmers. An INLD delegation, led by its president Om Prakash Chautala, met Governor Jagannath Pahadia and sumbitted a memorandum in this regard.

Chautala demanded the cane price should be fixed at Rs 350 per quintal saying the current rates were not sufficient to cover the input cost.

He said the Haryana government had promised farmers that they would be given 50 per cent of the total cost as profit.”But it failed to give a price which will cover input cost,” Chautala said.

“The Uttar Pradesh government is giving Rs 40-50 per quintal more to its farmers,” he said.

Farmers under the banner of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) have stopped supplying sugarcane to mills since January 5 as the Haryana government did not agree to their demand of hiking the State Advisory Price for cane for 2012-13.

Farmers are demanding over Rs 350 per quintal as SAP while the Haryana government is giving Rs 251 per quintal for early maturing varieties of sugarcane, Rs 240 for mid-maturing varieties and Rs 235 for late maturing varieties.

Following the agitation by the farmers, several sugar mills in the state have been forced to shut down cane crushing operations.

“The MS Swaminathan Committee report had suggested 50 per cent of total cost to be added to price to be given to sugarcane farmers as their profit, but the state government has not paid any heed to that. The state government has cheated the farmers,” said Haryana BKU president Gurnam Singh.

In all, Haryana has 14 sugar mills, including 10 in cooperative sector, three in private sector and one owned by HAFED.

BKU Haryana had already rejected the Haryana government’s offer of giving Rs 10 per quintal as bonus on early and mid varieties and Rs 7 a quintal on late varieties.

Haryana had set a target of producing 49 lakh quintals of sugar in 2012-13 on the back of increase in area and higher cane output. It had proposed to crush 611 lakh quintals of sugarcane during the crushing season 2012-13 as against crushing of 5.42 crore quintals of sugarcane in last season.

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