New Delhi: The government on Friday introduced a
Bill in the Lok Sabha to replace a controversial ordinance on
sugarcane pricing, over which farmers staged a massive
demonstration here last month.
The Essential Commodities (Amendment and Validation) Bill,
2009 was moved by Minister of State for Food and Public
Distribution K V Thomas.
The bill was originally scheduled for introduction on
November 24, but the opposition parties as well as farmers
demanded dropping of a clause (3B) in the Sugarcane Control
Amendment Order that put the onus on states to bear the
difference if they announce a higher price than the Centre`s
Fair and Remunerative Price.
Members from southern states also objected to repealing
`Clause 5A` of the Sugarcane Control Order, which deals with
sharing of profit by the millers with sugarcane growers.
While the government dropped the controversial clause 3B,
it did not budge on 5A.
Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had said that
by introducing the FRP, the government has taken care of the
profit-sharing aspect as farmers in many parts of the country
including Uttar Pradesh had never received it from the mills.
According to the objects and reasons in the Bill, the FRP
will be higher than the SMP as it seeks to give a reasonable
margin to the sugarcane farmers on account of risk and profit.
The government has announced FRP at Rs 129.84 per quintal
for 2009-10 season (October-September). SMP for this season
was fixed at Rs 107.76 per quintal.