SP demands hike in support price of sugarcane,ban on MNCs in retail

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Meerut, UP, Nov 1 (UNI) Coming down heavily on the Mayawati government for its ''anti-people '' policies, the principal opposition Samajwadi Party today demanded increase in the support price for sugarcane and a permanent ban on the entry of MNCs in the retail sector.

A political and economic resolution tabled here demanded an increase in support price on sugarcane, at the party's three day state convention at Victoria Park.

The Uttar Pradesh government had yesterday announced cane support price of Rs 130 per quintal for the early variety while those for the normal and inferior varieties have been fixed at Rs 125 and Rs 122.50 per quintal respectively for crushing season 2007-08. The government had maintained the support price of the previous fiscal.

Talking to reporters yesterday, Chief Minister Mayawati said the state government was serious towards the problems of the farmers and had provided Rs 113 crore as budgetary assistance and Rs 200 crore as government guarantee for payment of arrears by government and cooperative sugar mills.

Blaming the previous Samajwadi Party government for pending cane dues, she said that at the time of formation of her government the dues were Rs 3,005 crore, which came down to over 50 per cent after payment of dues of Rs 1,593 crore.

The SP convention demands that farmers be paid their dues within a month with interest and that the MSP on sugarcane be increased immediately,'' the resolution read. Besides increase in MSP and payment of dues to cane farmers, the four-page resolution has also raised several other points, including ban on MNCs and corporate houses in the retail sector. The resolution, which would be adopted by the state convention tomorrow evening, said the entry of giants in retail sector would harm the interests of the small traders who would be wiped out from the race by giants.

The resolution also supported the traders on their stand against introduction of value added tax (VAT). In his inaugural address before tabling of the resolution, SP president and former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav said VAT would not only harm the interests of the traders, but the common man too who would have to pay more in the VAT regime. ''If traders hold protests against VAT, feel free to extend support to their cause,'' he asked his party leaders.

The resolution asked the Mayawati government to reinstate the students' unions with immediate effect. ''Besides doctors and engineers, universities also produce future political leaders and universities are the nurseries of future politicians,'' several SP leaders, including Mr Yadav said in their respective addresses during the convention.

The main opposition party also demanded resumption of Kanya Vidyadhan scheme introduced by the previous Mulayam Singh government. ''Besides, the unemployment allowance should be re-introduced and unemployed youth should get Rs 1500 per month,'' the resolution said.

The SP also slammed the state government for spending Rs 700 crore on beautification of Kanshiram and Dr B R Ambedkar memorials.

The party said it was a waste of money keeping in mind the present state of economy of the state.

''The developmental works initiated during the previous government should be re-started for the betterment of the state,'' it said adding that the over 17500 police constables sacked in the alleged police recruitment scam should be re-instated.

UNI

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