HC upholds State revision of cane MSP

The Dharwad bench of the Karnataka High Court on Thursday upheld the State government’s notification revising upwards the minimum statutory price (MSP) for sugar cane fixed by the Centre for the year 2013-14. 

 Dismissing the petitions filed by the South India Manufacturers Association (SISMA) and others, Justice Ashok Hinchigeri observed that as sugar cane is an agricultural product, the State government has the right to fix the price. The argument that only the Union government has power to fix the prices was not valid. “The price fixing is an administrative issue. It will not be right for the court to intervene in this matter. The State government’s decision to revise the prices of sugar cane under the Karnataka Sugar Act, 2013 is valid.”
 The petitioners had challenged the constitutional validity of the Karnataka Sugar Act, 2013. They had argued that the State had no powers to revise the MSP after the Centre fixed the price. Also, they had contended that fixing of the price division-wise was in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution. They wanted the notification to be quashed.

The Centre had fixed Rs 2,100 as MSP for sugar cane for the current season. The State government had issued a notification on November 10, 2013, fixing the price at Rs 2,300 for South Karnataka and Rs 2,500 for North Karnataka.

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