Kissan Board Pakistan (KBP) President Sadiq Khan Khakwani while meeting with various delegations of sugarcane growers at his office on Friday has warned the siege of sugar mills in the province if the crushing season fails to start and arrears of sugar growers of the last season are not immediately cleared.
He also convened a meeting of the Board’s Central General Council to discuss the issue of delay in the start of cane crushing season and non-payment of arrears. He claimed sugar millers belonging to the ruling party had joined hands offering 50 percent less rate of sugarcane as compared with the last season depriving growers of billions of rupees.
“The government earns billions of dollars by buying agricultural commodities on cheaper rates and then exporting these, while 80 percent of industries in the country also get its raw material from the agricultural sector,” he mentioned. He further said millers and traders had tuned billionaires by buying produce of the growers on throwaway prices and the basmati paddy was sold at between Rs 1,600 and 1,800 per maund last year which this year could only attract a price of Rs 900 per maund. Potatoes were Rs 1300 per maund last year, but not at Rs 700 per maund. Cotton this year was sold at Rs 2,200 per maund as compared with Rs 4,500 per maund of the corresponding period. Now the millers are trying to fix the sugarcane prices at Rs 150 per maund in connivance with the government which is injustice to the growers, he claimed.