KARACHI: The Sindh government has finally decided to start sugarcane crushing from today (Thursday) by fixing last year’s rate of Rs182 per 40 kilogramme. This was decided at a meeting chaired by the Agriculture and Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal at his office on Wednesday. Representatives of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association and growers attended the meeting.
“The growers have been protesting for many weeks. The government did not pay any heed to their concern to increase sugarcane rate, but has decided to start crushing from today,” said Sindh Abadgar Board President Majeed Nizamani. It is believed that the strike announced by growers from December 2 to December 4 proposing to block national highways forced the government to start the crushing process.
“Majority of the mills are owned by rulers in Sindh and other provinces, so they are not interested in resolving [growers’] problems,” said Nizamani, adding that the growers had no option but to call off their strike. “Our prime demand was to start crushing and fix the rate. They have met one demand, so we are now going to postpone the strike,” he said.
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Siyal was of the view that it is the federal government’s incompetency that failed to frame a policy with regard to export of sugar. The minister denied whether the Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairperson owns a sugar mill in Sindh. “I challenge anyone to prove it. Zardari sahab does not own any mill,” he said.
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