New Delhi: Over one third of sugar mills in
Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday started crushing cane offering Rs 190-195 a quintal, thus making a headway in the month-long row with
farmers over "low" price that had set off a political storm.
"After discussing the issue with cane societies, we
decided to offer Rs 190 per quintal for the common variety and
Rs 195 for the early variety. 47 mills are crushing cane today
in western UP against 39 mills a year earlier," UP Sugar Mills
Association President C B Patodia said.
The UP mills last night decided to offer Rs 25 a quintal
more over the benchmark price of Rs 165-170 fixed by the
state. While farmers in western UP have started supply,
mills hope that those from other parts will follow suit.
The state has a total of 132 running sugar mills, out of
which 93 are private.
Asked if the conflict with farmers is now resolved,
Patodia said, "I think so." He also expected uninterrupted
cane supply to mills from farmers in the coming days as well.
Earlier this month, the mills agreed to pay Rs 180-185
per quintal while the farmers demanded Rs 280. All through,
farmers withheld supplies, delaying the crushing season in the
state which normally starts after Diwali in mid-October.
Subsequently, the row boiled into a major controversy,
with political parties joining the issue, forcing the Centre
to call an all-party-meeting to discuss the pricing issue
among other things.