LAHORE                -          Pakistan Kissan Movement President Hanif Gujjar held a meeting at Lahore where farmers from central Punjab districts of Sargodha, Khushab, Jhang, Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Muzaffargarh attended the meeting along with office bearers of Pakistan Kissan Movement. Respective district vice presidents and secretaries were also present in the meeting.

Farmers showed anxiety over the closure of sugar mills and said that we are giving sugarcane to mills at government’s announced rate of Rs.190 per maund but some black sheep in the market who are greedy in nature are interested to supply sugarcane to mills at Rs.230 to Rs.240 per maund. Farmers appreciated the efforts of Chief Minister Punjab, Sardar Usman Buzdar and said that increase in sugarcane price from Rs.180 to Rs.190 is a big jump in the raw material price which will give benefit to farmers.

Hanif Gujjar said to farmers if you demand Rs230 to Rs.240 per maund price of sugarcane then you can imagine the cost of production of sugar. He said we do not want to create sugar and sugarcane crisis in Punjab. We want that there should be a level playing field for all stakeholders including sugarcane growers, consumers and sugar manufacturers.

He said while commenting on a news story that government intends to maintain sugar rates at Rs.70/-, if cost of production of sugar comes to Rs.80 to 82 per kg and you force the mills to sell sugar at Rs.70 per kg then mills will go bankrupt. Hanif Gujjar said we do not want the mills to go bankrupt rather they should survive which will benefit farmers, as the sugar mills are the market place to sell sugarcane. Hanif Gujjar appealed to the Chief Minister Punjab to intervene and calculate the cost of production of sugar being produced by millers and let the sugar price be determined by market forces and government should not disturb this mechanism so as to avoid damage to farming community.