Islamabad: Government of Punjab has taken right steps to penalize sugar mills to safeguard rights of cane growers, as well as students and parents facing exploitation by the private schools, a top business leader said today.

Punjab Government’s immediate response to the outcry of sugarcane growers, who were facing exploitation by the sugar mills mafia by taking control nine defaulter sugar mills which was a great step in the right direction, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt.

Auctioning sugar mills or selling their stock to clear the dues of farmers is not enough, Government should consider arresting the owners of sugar mills and selling their properties to clear dues of farmers, he said.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said that under the Punjab Sugar Factories Control Act, all sugar mills were bound to make payment to the growers within 15 days of the purchase of sugarcane, but they delay payments for months are years to blackmail growers.

He also lauded Punjab government for promulgation of the Punjab Private Educational Institutions (Promotion and Regulation Amendment) Ordinance 2015, to regulate the affairs of the private schools. A good number of parents of students of different private schools have been protesting in different cities against the owners of the institutions for ‘unprecedented’ fee increase.

Barring private schools from unilateral hike in school fees and reversing fees to last year’s level are great steps which must be followed by the other provinces.

The business leaders lauded the decision under which schools would not force parents to purchase textbooks, uniform or other material from a particular shop.  There have been complaints against private educational institutions for many years therefore other provinces should also do something serious about it.