JI up to help sugarcane growers get rights

MULTAN – Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami Punjab Mian Maqsood Ahmad warned on Saturday his party is going to launch a protest drive to get resolved issues being faced by the sugarcane growers and a protest would held in Lahore on December 27 in this connection.

Addressing a news conference via video link, he demanded the LHC Chief Justice to take suo motu notice of sugarcane crisis and issue directives to the sugar mills owners to buy sugarcane from the growers at Rs180 per maund besides clearing the previous payments of farmers. He further warned that the growers would encircle the residence of Nawazz Sharif’s relative and owner of a sugar mill Mian Aslam Bashir if their demands are not accepted. “The farmers will stage sit-ins outside the residences of all sugar mills owners and it will continue till acceptance of their demands,” he added.

He said that the sugar mill owners have to pay billions to poor farmers and the amounts are outstanding since long but the government did nothing to recover poor farmers’ money. He said that over 36 hours had passed since CM Shehbaz Sharif made announcement but the mills could not be made functional, nor growers could be paid Rs180 per maund so far.

He noted that the cane commissioner played an important role in the past but now the growers are left at the mercy of mill owners as the industry is owned either by the politicians from treasury or opposition benches. He said that the cane commissioner looks helpless as the mills did not start crushing despite his repeated notices. He demanded mill owners to install weighing machines outside their mills. He said that the JI would stand shoulder to shoulder with the growers.

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