Akhilesh govt effects freeze on cane price
By Subhash Mishra | ENS | Published: 22nd November 2013 10:08 AM |
In an apparent bid to appease the organised might of the sugar millers’ lobby, the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP Government on Wednesday decided against raising the sugar cane prices. And the state government move in this regard, which was unprecedented in the state’s recent past, will mean that the `280 per quintal price fixed last year will stay on.
Actually, the millers had vowed to close down their units if the cane prices were increased this time round.
Besides, the SP Government has declared that it will not levy purchase tax on the millers this year, which will cost the exchequer a none-too-small `175 crore.
Despite the administration’s inclination to bend over backwards to accommodate the millers, no relief has been given to the farmers, who mostly belong to the Jat and Gujjar communities, which are already annoyed with the SP Govt over the Muzaffarnagar flare-up and the “one-sided action taken against them”.
And the Akhilesh Government’s failure to provide any concession to the cane growers could well spark a fresh bout of confrontation with the authorities in Western UP. Although the farmers’ demand for hiking the prices to at least `350 per quintal from the existing `280 was backed by the state’s Opposition parties, the SP Government had turned a deaf ear to the calls in this regard.
The cane growers had not harvested their crop and were awaiting a government decision to increase the prices of their produce. Now, though, it remains to be seen as to how Akhilesh–also in charge of the Sugar portfolio–plans to mollify the farmers who had vowed not to harvest the canes unless the prices were increased.