Govt to amend sugar policy

Opposition clamour in Parliament, farmers protest force Centre to retreat

Govt to amend sugar policy

Farmers at a massive demonstration in New Delhi on Thursday. AFP

The Congress rushed to give credit for the move to amend the ordinance –– fixing fair and remunerative price (FRP) for the 2009-10 sugar year replacing the earlier Statutory Minimum Price (SMP) –– to party general secretary Rahul Gandhi who discussed the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh earlier in the day.

The party said in a release that “Rahul Gandhi met the PM to convey the sentiments of the sugar cane growers of UP. The PM assured him that the Centre would look into the matter again and that if it is in the interest of farmers, the ordinance will be suitably amended”.
Before parliamentary business could begin, angry farmers, mainly from UP, converged on the capital, protesting the ordinance which is to be replaced by a Bill this session.

Presenting a unified stand, Opposition members held a demonstration outside Parliament and also created pandemonium in the Lok Sabha forcing its adjournment twice.
Rattled by the protests within and outside Parliament over as political an issue as sugarcane prices, the Prime Minister held a meeting with senior Cabinet colleagues.

The issue also came up for discussion at the meeting of the Lok Sabha’s business advisory committee. Following the meeting chaired by the Prime Minister, Mukherjee invited leaders of all parties for a breakfast at his residence on November 23 to hammer out a solution.

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