KARACHI - The Sindh cabinet meeting was held here under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday.

The cabinet discussed the sugarcane price and the dispute between the growers and sugar millers on the price and decided to allow the agriculture department to make another effort to find out a workable solution by bringing the stakeholders across table.

Briefing the cabinet, Minister for Agriculture & Home Sohail Siyal said that in the light of the Sugarcane Control Board minimum price of sugarcane was fixed at Rs182 per 40 kg which was challenged by the sugar miller in the High Court. The court directed the agriculture department to try to settle the dispute between the growers and millers and come up with a solution, he said.

He said that he held a number of meetings with growers and the millers. The growers demanded Rs216 per 40kg while the millers remained stuck up at Rs132 per 40 kg. The Agriculture Department proposed to fix minimum price at Rs142/kg but both the parties did not agree to it. Again another meeting was held in which PASMA proposed Rs153/40 kg. At this the grower said that the minimum price may be fixed at Rs160/40kg and government of Sindh may allow subsidy of Rs12/40 kg to correspond with the rate of Rs172/40 kg as was allowed in 2014-15.

The cabinet discussed the matter and finally said that the provincial government could not allow the subsidy. The Agriculture Department was directed to hold another meeting with the stake holders and try to find out workable solution of the dispute as advised by the court.

Another items the cabinet discussed and approved was the amendment in the Sindh Public Private Partnership Act, 2010. The chief minister told the cabinet that the Sindh government has requested the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to expand and improve Public Private Partnership (PPPs) in Sindh, under the Enhancing Public Private Partnership (EPPP) in the country (provincial support) project. The ADB would support the Sindh government to develop a more financially sustainable and fiscally responsible the project portfolio.

He said that the total project value is $184.13 million whereby ADB is contributing $100 million and Sindh government is also contributing $64.90 million as counterpart funding and DFID is contributing $19.23 million as grant. The project has been approved by the executive committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) and subsequently the loan and project agreement have been signed.

He added that considering the reforms, certain amendments are required to be incorporated in the Sindh Public-Private Partnership Act, 2010 to provide functionality of project support facility which would finance, manage and monitor projects initiated under the Sindh Public-Private Partnership Act, 2010, as amended or substituted from time to time and the accompanying the regulations, policies and ordinance. The cabinet approved the amendment.