ISLAMABAD – Sugarcane farmers continued to suffer as the mill owners are not paying them as per government announced rate .
The farmers have complained that the mill owners had devised new techniques to ignore the official price.
The mills are now deducting up to 22 maund per 100 kg as “Katooti”, which is very unjust, said Rao Afsar, a representative of small farmers association.
He said the actual deduction is 3 kilograme per maund. This deduction is for the weight of the rope used to tie the sugarcane .
He said the mills have feeded the deduction in the software and it does not reflect in the computerized payment receipts (CPR), a receipt on which banks pay the farmers.
The farmers also complained that the mill owners were forcing small farmers to wait in queues for upto 15 days and only influential farmers managed to get their trolleys unloaded on same day.
A farmer Chaudhry Rashid from Rahim Yar Khan said that small farmers had to wait for weeks to get their trolleys unloaded which was another unjust treatment meted out to farmers.
Chaudhry Iqbal of Rajanpur said that most of the small farmers hired extra trolleys for transport sugarcane from field to the mill and they had to bear up to Rs1000 charges per day per trolley.
The farmers have been complaining since the beginning of crushing season that the mill owners are exploiting them in the wake of healthy sugarcanecrop.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan has recently ordered to de-seal three sugar mills of Sharif family in the South Punjab.
It was a big relief for the sugarcane growers in the vicinity whose crop was decaying due to late purchase by five other mills.
A three-member bench led by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar passed the order while resuming the hearing of the Pakistan Kissan Ittehad petitions.
Farmers were demanding reopening of three relocated sugar mills – Chaudhry Sugar Mills to Rahim Yar Khan, Haseeb Waqas Sugar Mills to Muzaffargarh and Ittefaq Sugar Mills to Bahawalpur.
On January 11 submitting the undertaking, the owners of five sugar mills of South Punjab, including JDW Sugar Mills of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Jahangir Khan Tareen, assured the apex court that they would purchase the entire sugarcane crop against provincial government’s fixed rate at Rs180 per 40kg.