Mayawati accuses centre of ignoring sugarcane growersOctober 31st, 2009 - 6:10 pm ICT by IANS
Lucknow, Oct 31 (IANS) Accusing the central government of disregarding the interest of 4 million sugarcane growers of the state, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has shot off a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding a change in the recently announced sugarcane policy.
She has vehemently opposed the central government’s decision to prevent states from fixing their own prices for purchase of sugarcane.
Despite the Supreme Court upholding the right of state governments to fix a state advised price (SAP), the central government last week issued an ordinance, making state governments liable to pay any difference between SAP and Statutory Minimum Price (SMP), which now will be called the Fair Remunerative Price (FRP).
Protesting the “indifference of the central government towards the plight of sugarcane farmers”, Mayawati has also raised objections to the “arbitrary attitude of the centre” in not caring to seek the state’s opinion before embarking upon such a decision that would affect the fate of four million farmers.
As of now, if the state were to go by the new ordinance, it would entail a burden of about Rs.1,500 crores, on account of a wide gap between the SAP and FRP.
While the state government had last week announced a SAP of Rs.165 and Rs.170 per quintal for the 2009-10 crushing season, the centre has fixed its FRP at Rs.123 and Rs.129.
Sugarcane farmers have already expressed their anger at the centre’s move at a huge rally in Bareilly Thursday.
“The new policy is tailored to give lollipops to the sugar-mill owners at the cost of the poor farmer,” said Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan president V.M. Singh, convenor of the rally that brought farmers from across the state on a common platform.
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