The recent announcement of revised state advised prices (SAP) for sugarcane by the Uttarkhand and the Uttar Pradesh governments has put Haryana government in a fix regarding its own decision on the SAP.
While the state government has lost the highest SAP in the country tag to Uttarkhand this year,all eyes are now on Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda who is supposed to play a balancing act between farmers interests and the sugar millers.
Early this month the Sugarcane Control Board,Haryana,had announced an increase of Rs 11 in the SAP rates. The chief minister had said that the state would now give Rs 231 per quintal to sugarcane farmers who had sown the early maturing variety,Rs 226 for the mid maturing variety and Rs 221 for the late maturing variety. However,Hooda had added that the final rates are likely to be increased. But by how much,is a question that remained unanswered.
Last year when Haryana announced its SAP rates at Rs 220 per quintal for early varieties and Rs 215 and Rs 210 per quintal for middle and late varieties,it was the highest in the country.
However,on November 8 this year,the Uttar Pradesh government announced a 20 per cent hike in cane MSP. In UP farmers would get Rs 240 per quintal. Last week,Uttarakhand announced its SAP for sugarcane at a whopping Rs 250- 255 per quintal,a sharp increase from a SAP of Rs 210-215 last year.
In a quandary now,and despite the fact that milling is already on for the past week,the chief minister is showing no hurry in making the final announcement. A very high SAP would dent the interests of the millers,including the several state cooperative mills. If the state continues with the Sugarcane Control Board price,it is likely to face flak from the farmers. The opposition led by the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) is also likely to take on the government over the SAP.
Currently,sugarcane has been sown in about 1 lakh hectares in the state. Following a typical cane cycle,over the years the area under sugarcane has decreased in the state. In 2007-2008,it was 1.40 lakh hectares,while in 2002-03 it was 1.89 lakh hectares.
The Centre had for this year fixed the fair and remunerative price (FRP) at Rs 139.12 per quintal. Finding the FRPs too low most of the sugarcane producing states follow their own SAP rates.
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