Govt under pressure from private factories, allege ryots

Govt under pressure from private factories, allege ryots

Even as crushing of sugarcane has begun in Mandya district, the disparity in prices announced by the factories have drawn flak from the farming fraternity.

The farmers are gearing up to begin a state-wide protest, seeking scientific prices. While crushing of sugarcane began in July in Mandya district, the process begins only in September in other districts. Usually, sugar factories across the district follow the price fixed by the government-owned Mysore Sugar Company (MySugar).

Leaders of the Raitha Sangha and other organisations allege, as most of the owners of private factories are in Vidhana Soudha (either MLAs or MLCs), the government has succumbed to their pressure and is neglecting the interest of cane growers.

MySugar Chairman and Cooperation Minister H S Mahadev Prasad recently announced an advance price of Rs 2,200 per tonne, which is being opposed by MP C S Puttaraju and others. It may be recalled that the State government had fixed Rs 2,500 per tonne of cane last year, which was implemented by MySugar and Pandavapura Sahakara Sakkare Kharkane.

Besides the price of Rs 2,500, the government had disbursed an incentive of Rs 150 and had waived of Rs 60 sales tax per tonne last year.

But, the remaining factories had approached the court, questioning the price fixed by the government. As per the court’s directive, the factories had paid Rs 2,100 Fair Remunerative Price (FRP) and are waiting for the final judgement.

MLA K S Puttannaiah is for Rs 2,500 as advance and payment of the remaining amount after fixing the final price.

While MySugar has announced an advance of Rs 2,200, PSSK has announced Rs 2,500.
However, the management of other factories, which were called for a meeting by the Deputy Commissioner preferred to remain silent and had sought two days’ time to announce their price.

The State government has already passed Sugarcane Procurement and Transportation Bill and is awaiting the Governor’s nod. Once it is signed, a meeting would be convened to decide the final price, Prasad said.

But, Raitha Sangha district unit president Konasale Narasaraju stressed on announcing the last year’s price as advance, along with an incentive of Rs 150 per tonne, this year.
DH News Service