The Maharashtra government has directed sugar factories to pay a minimum price of Rs 2,650 per quintal for sugarcane to defuse the ongoing farmers agitation that has stalled the functioning of sugar factories across the state.
In the light of the announcement,State Minister for Cooperation and Markets Harshvardhan Patil has urged Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) leader Raju Shetty (MP) to take measures to withdraw the agitation in western Maharashtra. The SSS has agreed to the rate of Rs 2,650 per quintal. They have urged the state to take up the matter with Centre to further tackle related issues in the sugar sector.
However,Shetty’s decision to accept a rate below Rs 3,000 per quintal has invited criticism from some quarters within his organisation. A senior activist Raghunath Patil based in Sangli said,Anything below Rs 3,000 per quintal is not acceptable to us. He levelled serious charge against Shetty for hobnobbing with government on the matter.
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Shetty,however,dismissed the charge as baseless saying their demand for a higher MSP stays.