Punjab to protect farmers rights at all costs

OKARA – The sugar mills managements will never be allowed to deprive the sugarcane farmers of the privileges and rights granted by the government, declared Punjab Food Minister Bilal Yaseen during a visit to Baba Fareed Sugar Mills (BSM) here on Monday. The provincial minister warned that the sugar mills administration involved in violation of the approved system would be brought to the book. “It is definitely a warning to those practicing weighing less, cutting rate and making less payment to farmers or the middlemen fleecing growers and exploiting them for their benefits through their commercial verbosity must remember that now there is no room for their highhandedness,” he declared vociferously.

Bilal Yaseen claimed that the Punjab government would go to any extent to protect the rights of the growers and help them get due price of their produce.

On the occasion, Okara Deputy Commissioner Saima Ahad, Assistant Commissioner Maham Asif, District Food Controller Mehr Akhtar Hussain, Deputy Director Shabir Ahmad Alvi and other officials concerned accompanied the provincial minister. The food minister enquired from the farmers who have brought sugarcane to the mills about the rates being offered and weight cut by the mills management.

He also inspected the indents, permits and CPRs. During the process, he said that the Punjab government has fixed the rate of sugarcane price at Rs180 per 40kg, which would be implemented.

He directed the sugar mills administration to immediately issue CPRs to the farmers and abstain from weight cutting or payment. He also directed the district administration to keep functional Help Desk at the mills to facilitate the growers.

Bilal Yaseen said the Punjab government has been utilizing all possible resources to eliminate difficulties of the farmers, adding that the farmers would not be left at the mercy of any person or millers. The provincial minister said the Punjab government would remove all hindrance, obstructing benefits of the farmers. “The sugar mills administration is bound to issue CPRs and provide authentic receipts to the farmers in their name,” he emphasised, warning that the sugar mills administration does abide by the govt directives would have to face stern legal action.

On the occasion, representatives of the farmers were also present who apprised the minister of the problems and difficulties they are facing. The minister assured the farmers that the government would protect their rights at all costs.

During the briefing, DC Saima Ahad informed about the Help Desk, saying the district administration has been supervising the process sugarcane supply to the mills and the payment.

Earlier, Minister Bilal Yaseen visited Abdullah Sugar Mills, the administration of which was booked for violating the laws.

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