OUR STAFF REPORTER

LAHORE – The Opposition on Tuesday raised voice at the floor of the House for sugarcane growers, protesting against the mill mafia. The Opp members held protest against the nonpayment to the sugarcane growers by the mill owners, resenting unauthorised deduction on their payment received so far. They said the Sharifs were leading the mafia as they had maximum number of sugar mills.

The members, led by Hassan Murtaza, adopted a novel mode of protest by way of taking off their shoes and chanting slogans against ‘sugar mills mafia’ which they said, had kept the growers deprived of their money over the last two to three years against the sugarcane purchase. Murtaza vowed to remain bare footed till the farmers are paid.

He also had a grievance against one Hunza Sugar Mills where a grower had been shot dead recently when he was seeking payment of his commodity from the owner. Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Raja Riaz, Farooq Khalid Ghurki, Major Abdul Rahman and others members of the Opposition, sat down on the Assembly steps and chanted slogans against Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif describing him as leader of the ‘sugar mills mafia.’ The main thrust of the Opposition slogans was against the deduction which they said, is 30 per cent of the total amount the growers are getting from the millers throughout the province.

On the other hand, the House on Monday wanted to fix debate on the plight of the growers and agri situation in the province next day but the Opposition did not let the matter go ahead taking the plea of incomplete quorum.

Later talking to media men, Raja Riaz said completion of forum was responsibility of the treasury benches but they did not care for it. He seriously objected to the non-appearance of Chief Minster in the Assembly session which he added, was like a wedding procession without groom. Raja said the Opposition protest is show to solidarity with the growers and check deducted against their receipts. He demanded the millers must pay the growers through cheque cashable within 15 days and if the cheques bounce, case under the law should be registered against the owner.