UP hikes sugarcane support price by Rs.40 a quintal

November 2nd, 2010 - 4:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Nov 2 (IANS) In a bid to woo sugarcane growers across the state, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Tuesday announced an unprecedented hike of Rs.40 per quintal in the support price of sugarcane.

“This hike is not only unprecedented in the state, but it is also the highest price hike ever declared by any other state in the country,” Mayawati told a press conference here.

“That takes the state advised price (SAP) of sugarcane in the state to Rs.205 for the common variety of cane,” she said. The price for the two other varieties that are grown in far lesser quantity has been fixed at Rs.200 and Rs.210.

Uttar Pradesh has as many as three million sugarcane growers, who are seen by all political parties as a strong vote bank. And sure enough, the chief minister had this in mind when she took up the issue this morning at a cabinet meeting which decided on the hike.

Mayawati said “the fact the no other past government in Uttar Pradesh nor any other government in any state ever gave the farmers such a huge hike in sugarcane price shows how much the BSP government cares for farmers.”

Pointing out that her government had been sympathetic to sugarcane growers even in 2009 when it gave a hike of Rs.25 over the previous year’s SAP, she said: “Our price is far higher than that was recommended by the central government.”

And training her guns at the centre, she said: “As per the central government policy, the FRP (fair and remunerative price) for Uttar Pradesh would be of the order of just about Rs.133 per quintal, but unlike the centre we have chosen to keep the interest of the farmer in mind.”

“It was high time the central government changed its mindset and started framing its policies with the larger interest of farmers in view.”

Sugarcane growers are, however, not excited over the hike. Terming the hike as an “eyewash”, Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan Chief V.M. Singh said “farmers had already received a price of Rs.265 per quintal in 2009, so where is the hike?” He said “this is a reflection of a deal between the state government and the mill owners, who were being benefited in this manner.”

While directing all sugar mills in the state to start this season’s crushing as early as possible, the chief minister instructed all district magistrates to hold tripartite meetings with farmers and mill owners to resolve differences or disputes between the two.

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