LAHORE  (APP) – As current sugarcane crushing season 2012-2013 is about to end, all 38 sugar mills operating in Punjab, after purchasing cane in December last, have stopped Rs 43 billion payment to hard hit sugarcane growers without any plausible reason adding miseries to their life.

Convener, Sugarcane Growers Association, Pakistan Javed Mehmud Malik, told APP here Sunday that all sugar mills nearly now owe over Rs 43 billion to sugarcane growers and according the agreed formula, mill management will pay all dues to growers within 15 days but unfortunately not even a single farmer could get dues within the stipulated period.

On the other hand, Punjab Food Department and Provincial Cane Commissioner Ahmad Malik miserably failed to address the genuine grievances of sugarcane growers. District sugarcane purchasing, monitoring and examining committees each headed by respective district coordination of cane commissioner. 

Thousands of poor growers are running from pillar to post to get legitimate payment of their sugarcane crop. One of the victims, Muhammad Hussain Dohla from Mozia Pindi Sheikh Musa, tehsil Tandlianwala, district Faisalabad, alleged that up to 20pc less was paid to growers through the middleman with the connivance of China sugar mill administration. Javed Mehmud Malik made an impassioned appeal to caretaker Chief Minister Najam Sethi to intervene and get their payments cleared on top priority.