The Karnataka government has fixed Rs. 2,400 per tonne as advance price for sugarcane supplied to sugar factories for the 2013-14 crushing season.

Addressing presspersons here on Thursday, Minister for Sugar Prakash Hukkeri said the Karnataka Sugarcane Control Board , comprising 15 members, held its first meeting a couple of days ago and fixed the advance price at Rs. 2,400 a tonne of sugarcane supplied by growers to factories. “The price fixed is not final. It may be revised upwards after consultations with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah,” he said.

The price was fixed by taking into account production, cutting and transportation cost per tonne of sugarcane with 9.5 per cent of recovery. Maharashtra factories have also been paying Rs. 2,400 per tonne of cane.

Karnataka Sugarcane Growers’ Association president Kurbur Shantakumar told The Hindu that the factories paid Rs. 2,500 per tonne of cane, including cutting and transportation cost, last year. “We are demanding Rs. 3,500 per tonne for 2013-14,” he said.

While Uttar Pradesh factories paid Rs. 2,900, the Punjab units paid Rs. 3,450 per tonne of cane in 2012-13 for 8.5 per cent recovery, he said and termed the price fixed by the board as “unscientific and anti-farmer”.

Replying to a question on revival of sick sugar mills by infusing capital, he said the government has decided to release Rs. 12 crore to the Brahmavar Sugar factory to pay pending arrears to workers and Rs. 15 crore for revival of Pandavapura sugar factory. The growers have demanded financial support of Rs. 30 crroe for revival of MySugar factory located at Mandya.

Sugar procurement

The Cabinet sub-committee on sugar procurement, headed by Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs T.B. Jayachandra, which met here on Thursday, has decided to buy sugar from the co-operatives at Rs. 30.75 per kg for ensuring regular supply of the commodity to BPL families through public distribution system.

The Food and Civil Supplies Department has been distributing 1 kg of sugar at Rs. 13.5 a kg per month. There 1.08 lakh BPL families in the State. Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Dinesh Gundu Rao also attended the meeting.

Income accrued by the co-operative sugar factories by selling sugar at Rs. 30.75 a kg would ultimately benefit cane growers, the Minister said.