The Uttar Pradesh Government led by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav announced on Friday State Advisory Prices (SAP) of sugarcane - Rs 290 per quintal, which is Rs 40 higher than last year’s price.
The new cane prices would fetch the cane growers Rs 21,500 crore, which is Rs 3,300 crore more than that of the previous year, said an official spokesman of the UP Government.
The government was under tremendous pressure from the cane cultivators for delaying the declaration of the prices, while nearly two months of crushing season had passed. The Samajwadi Party, when in Opposition had demanded last year that the cane prices should not be less than Rs 300 per quintal in view of increasing cost of production. The sugar millers were not ready to pay even Rs 270 per quintal.
The new cane prices have not satisfied the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). ”We were expecting prices not less than ` 300 a quintal, as was promised by the SP itself and secondly, the cost of inputs required for cane cultivation has increased tremendously,” said Anil Dubey, spokesman of the RLD.
Kisan leader V M Singh told Express that the government’s decision would not amuse the farmers as they were expecting the prices not less than ` 300 a quintal. “How would the UP Government compensate the farmers, who had disposed off their produce under distress,” he asked.
The SAP was announced at a time when the SP is facing criticism from its political opponents, especially the BJP for helping the Centre to implement its FDI policy.
“Now it is established beyond doubt that the Samajwadi Party leadership has no interest in protecting the farming community from the hands of the foreign companies,” said BJP’s Hridaya Narain Dixit.