Sugarcane growers can look forward to a good price for sugarcane this year as the government will announce a “final price” favourable to growers later during this month.

Talking to presspersons, Minister for Sugar, Small Scale Industries and Muzrai Prakash B. Hukkeri said here on Tuesday the 15-member Sugarcane Control Board committee took a decision to fix a price for sugarcane for the current crushing year. Five representatives each from growers and sugar mill owners, and Karnataka Rajya Kabbu Belegarara Sangha president Kurbur Shantkumar were invited. He said the board was looking for a price-fixing mechanism based on sugar recovery percentage from others States, including Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. The board would meet after Dasara and announce the final price after consulting Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. The reports from other States would help the government ascertain the truth of farmers’ claims of higher prices (from Rs. 2,900 to Rs. 3,500 per tonne) given to sugarcane suppliers in other States. He clarified the sugarcane advance bill at Rs. 2,400 per tonne announced recently was not the final price.

He appealed to growers of Hire Bagewadi, a village 20 km from here on NH4, to give up their proposed rasta roko and assured growers of a good price. Till then, he expected growers to cooperate and desist from agitation.

Tax

Mr. Hukkeri said the government was doing its best to extend benefits to growers and therefore, reduced purchase tax by 20 per cent and road tax by 10 per cent, which would cost the State government nearly Rs. 81 crore. Also, the government decided to reduce VAT on sugar by 1 per cent this year.

The Minister assured sugarcane growers he would prevail upon managements to clear dues worth Rs. 100 crore for bills pertaining to 2012-13. The government had released Rs. 1.48 crore to pay employees who took voluntary retirement from the erstwhile Shree Bhagyalaxmi Co-operative sugar mills. Also, the proposal to set up a co-generation plant and a distillery unit at this mill had been cleared. The government released Rs. 10 crore to pay bank loan dues of sugarcane growers in Pandavapura in Mandya district.

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