Karnataka Government on Wednesday announced the setting up of an expert committee to go into the issue of fixing State Advisory Price and other demands of sugarcane growers in an attempt to mollify farmers who have been agitating to press their demands.
Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, who held a meeting with farmer leaders of sugarcane growing areas here after they stepped up their stir, told them that the government was in agreement that there was a need for fixing the SAP.
Mr. Yeddyurappa later told reporters that the states had no power to fix sugarcane prices as it was the prerogative of the Centre. He said the Centre fixed Rs 1,298.40 as minimum support price (MSP) per tonne for sugarcane with 9.5 per cent recovery for the year 2009-10. However, the state government persuaded the managements of 51 sugar factories in the state to give higher price and the factories extended rates ranging between Rs 1,500 to Rs 1,795, he said.
Mr. Yeddyurappa said government would also consider the demand for establishment of a sugar development board in the state.
However, the farmers’ leaders said they were not happy with the outcome of the meeting and set a February 20 deadline for the government to fix SAP and other demands, including clearing of payment for cane with 14 days after supplying it to factories, failing which they would decide on their future plan of action.