Plight of cane growers should be noticed: PEW

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Sugar mills mafia exploiting poor planters
Sugarcane support price mechanism malfunctioning

The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Saturday said powerful sugar mills mafia continue to exploit the sugarcane growers which must be noticed.
Increased production of sugarcane has failed to improve the quality of life of millions of people depending on the sugarcane crop as they get Rs100 to Rs120 per maund against the support price of Rs180 per maund, it said.
Growers are not getting the notified price for their produce while they also face delayed payments every year, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President of PEW.
He said that federal and provincial governments have frequently been accused to side with the millers are provide them subsidies to the tune of tens of billions of rupees which put the strain on the exchequer.
Murtaza Mughal said that uncertainty continues to hurt growers and millions of those dependent on them while authorities have failed to chalk out any plan to save them from abuse.
He said that support price mechanism should be altered, growers should be given incentives, while millers should be directed to pay half of the price while unloading the sugarcane.
The remaining half of the price should be cleared within few months while the growers should be allowed to use encash receipts issued from sugar mills at designated banks.
Owners of the sugar mills should not be allowed to delay crushing season or employ delaying tactics to increase profit on the cost of poor otherwise growers will lose interest in this important crop which will be against the national interests, he warned.

In: Economy WatchAuthor: AAMIR JAVED