Karat asks Centre to withdraw sugarcane ordinance

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New Delhi, Nov. 7 (ANI): CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat on Saturday asked the Union Government to withdraw the new ordinance, which requires the State Government to bear the expenses if it fixes sugarcane prices lower than that advised by the centre.

The ordinance passed on October 23 is interpreted to mean that it would discourage the State governments from announcing higher SAP.

"The ordinance issued by the federal government will severely affect sugarcane farmers especially in Uttar Pradesh. So we are against this ordinance. When they will introduce the bill in Parliament, we will unitedly oppose it. We are against this policy and we want the government to take it back and talk to everyone and think about what to do on the issue," said Karat.

The ordinance has led to a severe discontentment among the farmers in Uttar Pradesh, which produces half of India's cane.

The Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) fixed by the Centre is rupees 130 while the State Advised Price (SAP) is between rupees 165 and 170.

Ajit Singh, chief of regional Rashtriya Lok Dal, who is spearheading the cane farmers' movement in the state, met Karat here on Saturday.

"By repealing the SAP and in the name of Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) if you reduce one third of the price....In Punjab, it is rupees 200, in Haryana it is 185 and if you bring it to 130 in Uttar Pradesh, will the farmers of the state cultivate sugarcane next year? The state produces 40 percent sugar. All the shortcomings should be solved by discussion; else this (ordinance) will wipe out sugarcane farmers in the state," said Singh.

Later, Singh also met Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh.

"We will not sit if the sugarcane mill owners start to decide the fate of farmers. We have had discussion and chalked out a strategy on the issue. If need be, myself and Mulayalam Singh will go with Ajit Singh to fight for the cause of the sugarcane farmers," Amar Singh told reporters. (ANI)

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