Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lok Satta demands remunerative price for cane

The Lok Satta Party today demanded the convening of a conference of representatives of farmers, sugar factory managements and all political parties to ensure a remunerative price for sugarcane.

Addressing the media, party leaders V. Laxman Balaji, G. Raja Reddy, Bhisetty Babji and S. Manorama said farmers in large parts of the country had switched over from sugarcane to other crops because cane cultivation caused them losses.

They pointed out that Government of India’s Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of Rs.1298 per ton fell far short of the cost of cultivation of Rs.2000 per ton. In the process, the Union Government also did away with both the Minimum Support Price and the State Advised Price. Even when the States advised higher prices, many factories did not honor them. They even unduly delayed payments due to them. The Government of India’s decision to fix a Fair and Remunerative Price now freed sugar factories from any obligation to pay other than the FRP.

The Lok Satta leaders said that both sugarcane farmers and consumers are now left to the mercy of factory owners. There was no point in importing sugar at a higher price when it could be produced indigenously at a cheaper rate.

They wanted the Government to resolve the problem immediately before it worsens.

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