The State government has notified sugarcane price for the current crushing season (2013–14). The price has been fixed at Rs. 2,500 a tonne across the State.
On Saturday evening, Commissioner for Cane Development and Director of Sugar S.S. Pattanshetty issued a notification under Section 4(f) of the Karnataka Sugarcane (Purchase and Supply Control) Act, 2013, announcing Rs. 2,500 per tonne as ex-gate price for sugarcane in southern districts and Rs. 2,500 per tonne as ex-field price in northern districts.
The price is linked to sugar recovery percentage, concessions such as waiver of sugarcane purchase and road taxes and rebate on VAT for sugar, and revenue that mills get from various byproducts.
Minister for Sugar Prakash B. Hukkeri, who announced this at a press conference here on Sunday, parried questions on why the government was shying away from announcing State Advisory Price (SAP) for sugarcane as being demanded by growers.
To the reported claims by owners of sugar mills that the price announced by the government was not binding on them, he said: “Let them tell us that the price announced as per the Act is not binding on them, the government will look into it accordingly. The government has announced the price as per the law and nobody should violate it.” Sugar mill owners could present their problems before the government. They could speak to the Chief Minister, he added.
He said sugarcane growers in northern districts would be saving nearly Rs. 400 to Rs. 500 a tonne, as the price announced by the government was ex-field, i.e. harvesting and transportation costs will be paid by mills. This was as good as getting up to Rs. 2,900 per tonne, he said. Mill owners would save at least Rs. 135 for a tonne by way of government concessions.
Of the 58 sugar mills operational in the State, 44 had commenced crushing. Eight more would start crushing by the month-end, he said. The 44 mills had so far crushed 26 lakh tonnes of sugarcane.
About 250 lakh tonne sugarcane was available this year against over 300 lakh tonnes last year, he added.