Mayawati urges centre to resolve sugarcane farmers’s woes

November 9th, 2009 - 9:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Lucknow, Nov 9 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Monday urged the central government to resolve the woes of the state’s 4.9 million sugarcane farmers, who are staging demonstrations in many parts of the state for higher prices.
Addressing a press conference on her behalf, Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh said: “The chief minister has already written a letter to the prime minister (Manmohan Singh).”

“She hopes that the agriculture minister (Sharad Pawar) would take her views into account during his proposed meeting with representatives of sugarcane farmers in New Delhi on Tuesday.”

He reiterated the state government’s stand that it would stick to the state advised price (SAP), which is higher than the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) price fixed by the central government.

The central government has announced a price of Rs.129.85 per quintal for sugarcane during the 2009-10 crushing season under the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) system, while the SAP has been set between Rs.165 and Rs.170 per quintal.

According to a recent central government ordinance, if a state government fixes SAP higher than FRP, it will have to pay the difference.

“Since the state was empowered by an order of the country’s apex court to fix the SAP, we have instructed all our district magistrates to ensure that mills pay the SAP to the farmers,” Singh said.

The official further urged farmers “to maintain peace and to not take law into their hands”.

In western Uttar Pradesh, the cane belt of the state, hundreds of farmers are spearheading an agitation demanding higher sugarcane prices.

Hundreds of farmers took to the streets Monday, clashed with the police, damaged railway tracks, stopped trains, blocked highways and forced closure of shops in the region.

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