VIJAYAWADA: After the AP Legislative Council elections, the state government is likely to take a decision that would have a bearing on subabul, jamoil and casuarina farmers.
There is intense pressure on the government from the paper mills to reduce the price of the wood keeping in view the existing unfavourable conditions. The government fixed the price at Rs 4,400 per tonne for subabul and, Rs 4,600 per tonne for jamoil and casuarina, during a meeting held between farmers and paper mills on February 18 last year. But, the managements of paper mills made a representation on January 13 this year seeking reduction of price and stopped purchasing the wood.
Ministers P Pulla Rao and D Umamaheswara Rao, who held talks with the managements on January 21, clarified that the price of the wood cannot be reduced at that juncture and the old prices would be in force until the government decides to review the situation. The ministers also told the paper mills to provide bank guarantee in agriculture market societies for farmers, before purchasing their produce.
The decision was taken keeping in view the incident involving Sirpur Paper Mills, which did not pay the farmers of Krishna, Prakasam and Guntur districts even after purchasing the wood. The government already filed criminal cases against the management of Sirpur Paper Mills for failing to pay the farmers and the issue is pending in the High Court. The next date for hearing is on March 19. Meanwhile, the government is simultaneously using the revenue recovery act for collecting arrears, official sources said here Wednesday.