LAHORE: Sugar millers remain divided over the start of the cane-crushing season, as the government has decided to take action against 17 factories for failing to fire boilers at their respective units on Thursday.

Ramzan Sugar Mills in Chiniot, owned by the Sharif family, began crushing a few days ago, while Jahangir Khan Tareen’s units fired up their boilers on Wednesday.

Ali Khan Tareen, Jahangir Tareen’s son, tweeted on Friday evening that their mills had begun crushing.

On Thursday, he tweeted, “In accordance with the direction of the Punjab government, we will start our mills tomorrow. We are also pleased with their decision to raise the minimum cane price from Rs225 to Rs300. Given the rise in input costs, this increase was critical for farmers.”

In yet another tweet he said that their cane development teams worked hard this year to help farmers increase yields and fight against increased pest/fungus attacks due to heavy rainfall.

“Hope their effort pays off & farmers across the region get higher yields. Because if farmers don’t prosper neither do we.”

Chief Secretary Abdullah Khan Sumbal at a meeting on Thursday decided to issue notices to the 17 sugar mills that have not fired their boilers so far.

The chief secretary directed Cane Commissioner Hussain Bahadar Ali Shah to take action against those millers not following the official orders of making their units operational by Nov 25.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2022

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