Sindh not to give subsidy on sugarcane this year


KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has directed the Agriculture Department to work out an acceptable sugarcane price to the growers and millers because this year his government would not give subsidy on the sugarcane at any cost.

This he said while presiding over a meeting of Agriculture department to discuss new sugarcane price and review overall cane crop.

The chief minister said that last year there were differences between growers and millers on the issues of sugarcane price. ‘This year I want you to settle this issue {price} amicably. This time Sindh government would not give any subsidy on its price,” he said categorically.

Secretary Agriculture Shahid Gulzar Shaikh briefing the chief minister said that the agriculture minister had held a meeting with the growers to ascertain sugarcane price. “We are still working to work out an acceptable price to the growers as well as the millers,” he said.

Chief Secretary Siddique Memon said that there is a scientific method to work out sugarcane price. According to available data over 8 kg sugar is produced by crushing a 100 kg cane. “We have to work out total expenditures of a mills on the production of one kg sugar plus their 15 percent profit and then have to check the ex-mill price of one kg sugar. This calculation would help to ascertain the sugar price most likely to be acceptable to both the parties,” he said.

The chief minister directed the secretary agriculture to keep close coordination with growers and millers and also check the sugarcane price in other provinces such as Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “I would appreciate if sugar mills start crushing in time. Delay always causes loss to the growers and the millers equally,” he said.

Replying to a question of the chief minister, the Secretary Agriculture said that last year sugarcane was grown over an area of 316,749 hectares while this year it has been recorded at 318,000 hectares. “This shows an increase in growth in production and approximately yield would be around 18,858,672 tones. ” he said.

It may be noted that there are there were 33 operational sugar mills in the province.

The chief minister said that there were some complaints that the subsidy given by the government has not trickled down to the growers completely. On this, secretary agriculture said that about 98.9 percent amount, Rs3857.114 million, has been disbursed and the remaining amount of Rs48.686 million to be given to 555 remaining growers, and added that last year the Sindh government had given a subsidy of Rs3989.8 million from which 41,047 growers had taken the benefit.

The chief minister directed agriculture department to monitor disbursement and ensure the amount must reach to the genuine growers.

Those who attended the meeting include, Chief secretary Siddique Memon, Principal Secretary to CM Alamuddin Bullo, Secretary Agriculture Shahid Gulzar Shaikh, Secretary Finance Sohail Rajput and Cane Commissioner Agha Zaheer.

Secretary Law Mir Mohammad Shaikh and Advocate General Murtaza Wahab specially attended the meeting.