Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lok Satta demands Rs.250 A quintal for sugarcane

The Lok Satta Party today demanded that the State Government announce a minimum State Advisory Price (SAP) of Rs.250 a quintal of sugarcane for the 2011-12 crushing season, without succumbing to the sugar lobby in the State Cabinet and among MPs.

By not announcing an SAP at all for the last few years, the Andhra Pradesh Government has left farmers and tenants to the mercy of sugar factories and their agents, commented Lok Satta Party State Working President D. V. V. S. Varma and Secretary P. Bhaskara Rao in a media statement.

The State Government's complacency has emboldened sugar factory managements to pay different rates in different regions. Both the State and Central Governments have let down farmers and tenants by not considering the increase in costs of cultivation of sugarcane and the growing international demand for sugar in fixing the cane price. Considering that the cost of cultivation works out to Rs.40,000 per acre, the Union Government's Fair and Remunerative Price of Rs.145 is grossly unfair and unremunerative.

The Lok Satta leaders pointed out that the UP Government fixed a State Advisory Price as Rs.250 and the Punjab Government Rs.220 a quintal. The Andhra Pradesh Government should emulate its counterparts and announce an advisory price of Rs.250 a quintal.

Mr. Varma and Mr. Bhaskara Rao recalled that at a number of places farmers switched over to sugarcane this year as the State Government had failed to ensure even the Minimum Support Price for paddy in the last crop season. If the Government does not go to their rescue at least now, there is the risk of farmers declaring a crop holiday for cane also, they warned.

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