As the dispute between the sugar mills and sugarcane farmers plods on, a sugar mill has warned of closing its operations if the Sindh government treads on the heels of the Punjab government and fixes Rs300 per 40kgs cane purchase price.
At a press conference at Hyderabad press club on Sunday, Matiari Sugar Mills Director Dost Muhammad Baloch said the mills feared that after dragging feet over the farmers' demand for fixing a Rs300 rate, the provincial government might finally follow suit with Punjab.
The Punjab government has recently fixed a rate of Rs300 per 40kgs, a buying price which the farmers in Sindh have been demanding since early October.
Baloch said the mills in Sindh could not pay higher than Rs250 per 40kgs because any sum higher than what they offered would cause them financial losses.
He claimed that his mill started buying sugarcane on November 11, even though the provincial government had not notified the cane crushing season by that date. He told the media that they were paying Rs200 per 40kgs to farmers, fixed by the government last year.
Baloch argued that the price of refined sugar in the international market is higher than in Pakistan, where the mills are not reaping profits at their current expense. He told the media that the mills have enough sugar stocks to meet the demand for the next three months.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2022.
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