CHENNAI: Representatives of South Indian Sugarcane Farmers Association (SISFA) on Wednesday called on Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and put forth a six-point charter of demands, which included immediate payment of `500 crore arrears in the last crushing season as grant, imposing a blanket ban on purchase of sugar and spirit from other States by liquor companies and waiver of VAT on sugar and spirit.
Payment of procurement price for power generated through co-generation plants of sugar mills on a par with private players is another demand. They also urged the Chief Minister to recommend to the Centre to overhaul and simplify the crop insurance scheme so as to benefit farmers.
Answering queries of mediapersons at the Secretariat, KV Rajkumar, executive president, SISFA said cane growers had not received the procurement price announced by the State government in the past two years. Since farmers were dependent upon sugar mills, the State government should take cue from other States and pay the entire due of `500 crore as a grant directly to the cane growers.
To provide reasonable price for sugarcane, the rate should fixed as per the ‘C2+50 formula’, he said and called for ethanol production from sugarcane and allow it to be mixed with petrol. If the government failed to resolve the issues of cane farmers on a war footing, he said they would converge at Hosur, border town of Tamil Nadu with Karnataka, and would stage a massive protest by blocking vehicles transporting sugar and spirit from other States.