The Uttar Pradesh government has lifted its ban on the import of raw sugar.
The state government has written to the Railway Board that it could now provide rakes to sugar mills for transportation of raw sugar from Kandla port in Gujarat.
The state government, while imposing the ban on import of raw sugar for processing in mills in UP in November 2009, had also written to the Railway Board not to provide rakes because of the law and order problem.
The state government had then told the board that it would not be responsible for any damage to railway property by sugarcane farmers who were demanding higher prices for their product and opposing imports at lower prices.
Farmers’ leaders including Mahendra Singh Tikait, Harikrishna Malik and V.M. Singh had then called upon the Uttar Pradesh
government to set the sugarcane price at Rs 280 per quintal (100 kg).
The state government advisory price is Rs 170 per quintal for high-quality cane and Rs 165 for the common variety.
Sugarcane farmers had opposed the import of raw sugar for processing in western UP. A rake carrying raw sugar was not allowed to offload its goods at Muzaffarnagar.
In view of the ban, the Railway Board had sought the state government’s fresh opinion on the issue last week.
Sources told Hindustan Times that Sugarcane Commissioner S.M. Bobde had written a letter to the Railway Board on February 19, saying that if the sugar mills wanted allotment of rakes for transportation it could now consider their demand.
Bobde was however not available for comment.
The state government now has no problem with imports because the sugarcane-crushing season has come to an end. While imposing the ban, Chief Minister Mayawati had taken the stand that imports would not be allowed till the crushing season was over.