Ajit Singh to hold panchayat of sugarcane farmers

Last Updated: Sunday, November 29, 2009 - 20:18

New Delhi: Even as the Centre decided to
withdraw the sugarcane ordinance, RLD chief Ajit Singh today
said he will hold a panchayat of cane farmers in Shamli on
Monday to discuss the lack of uniformity in prices being
offered by sugar mill owners to them in Uttar Pradesh.

"Though Centre had withdrawn the Ordinance after we
stalled parliamentary proceedings for the first two days of
the ongoing winter session, sugarcane farmers are still not
getting adequate prices for their produce from sugar mill
owners. We are holding a panchayat with farmers tomorrow in
Shamli (UP) to review the situation," he told reporters here.

He said one mill in Moradabad has started giving more
than Rs 205 to farmers as there is inadequate supply of
sugarcane this year. However, in rest of the state, farmers
are getting much less than Rs 200. "Our contention is that if
one mill has started giving this kind of amount, then others
too should give this kind of price to farmers," he said.

The Ordinance brought in late last month had suggested
that only Centre will fix the price for sugarcane called fair
and remunerative price (FRP) and that the difference between
state advised price (SAP, which is given by state governments
to farmers) and FRP (which is lesser than SAP) would have to
be paid by state governments.

After all the opposition parties united against the
Ordinance and stalled the Parliament for two days, the Centre
withdrew it and reinstalled SAP. It also announced that the
difference between FRP and SAP will have to be paid by mill
owners and not the state governments.

However, there is no uniformity in prices being offered
to farmers in Uttar Pradesh, Singh claimed.

He had in fact threatened to intensify his agitation in
the state on November 26 over the issue, if the UP government
did not increase the SAP. He later withdrew it after the SAP
was marginally increased to Rs 190 by UP government.

Meanwhile, Singh added that after tomorrow`s panchayat,
he will hold a meeting of his party workers in Meerut on
Tuesday to decide his future strategy on the issue.

"I will hold a meeting of party workers in Meerut on
December 1 to decide on our future strategy. If one mill can
offer a competitive price to sugarcane farmers, then other
mill owners will also have to follow suit," he said.

Singh said that mill owners should talk to farmers on
the price issue and come out with a price which is
commensurate with what sugarcane farmers are getting in
neighbouring states like Haryana, Punjab and even Uttarakhand.

"Even the UP government should act as a mediator and
initiate mediation between mill owners and farmers," he added.

On being asked whether RLD was planning to form a front
on the issue with other parties like TDP and SP, considering
he has held parleys with both TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu and
SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav in recent times, he refused to
comment.

"I have not spoken to anybody as of now," he said.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, November 29, 2009 - 20:18

comments powered by Disqus