Maharashtra: Oppn demands relief for sugar coops, stages walkout

  • Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times, Nagpur
  • Updated: Dec 16, 2014 22:26 IST

Amid slogan shouting for a relief package for sugar co-operatives, the Opposition staged a walkout in the Maharashtra assembly on Tuesday.

Raising the issue in a calling-attention motion, senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) members Ajit Pawar, Dilip Walse-Patil, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, Vijay Wadettiwar (both Congress) pointed out the exports are less lucrative, following a crash in the international market and the fair remunerative price of sugarcane announced by the Centre.

Walse-Patil said Swabhiman Shetkari Sanghatana, which is part of the government, wanted the price to be fixed at Rs 2,700 a tonne, while the remunerative price announced by the Centre was Rs 2,200.

Stating that purchase of sugarcane according to the remunerative price may led to the closure of factories, the leaders demanded a subsidy of Rs 500-600 a tonne.

Cooperatives minister Chandrakant Patil said it would not be possible for the government to give a bailout package as the state is facing a financial crisis in the wake of drought, hailstorm and other problems. “We have already announced Rs 7,500-crore relief package for drought-hit farmers,” he said.

Patil said the state has waived off 3% purchase tax, which will provide a relief of Rs 65-70 a tonne for an individual sugar unit. “We have met the finance minister over the issue thrice. I request the Opposition to go to Delhi and make a joint representation, led by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis,” he said.

Patil warned of action against sugar factories that don’t pay sugarcane growers according to the remunerative price.

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