HYDERABAD: Sindh Abadgar Ittehad (SAI) has expressed its concern over illegal deduction of two-three kilos on every 40kg by millers while procuring paddy crop to cause more losses to growers, who are already being offered up to Rs1,700 per 40kg less than the offered rate.

Chairing a meeting of the SAI on Thursday, Nawab Zubair Talpur condemned the “injustice” being done to paddy growers.

He noted that millers had offered Rs4,500 per 40kg to growers before harvesting was started but now they were not ready to pay more than Rs2,800-Rs3,500 per 40kg.

Moreover, Mr Talpur pointed out, even labour charges for offloading of crop at rice mills were also recovered from growers, who were already bearing the cost of their crop’s farm-mill transportation. In the past, he said, rice millers used to bear farm to mill transportation charges. He urged Sindh government to take notice of the illegal deduction, and called for fixing paddy crop’s official rate.

Condemns illegal deduction in weight during crop procurement

The meeting condemned agriculture department’s indifference towards payment of subsidy to farmers for solar panels arguing that allocation of over Rs1bn for the subsidy had been made in the department’s annual budget.

It said that farmers were ready to pay 20pc cost of the solar panel scheme. He urged government to implement the scheme for farmers.

Mr Talpur demanded fixing of Rs5,000 support price for wheat crop this season, and said that market committees should be formed and registered farmers organisations should be included in those committees.

The SAI meeting observed that tomato and onion crops were being harvested but import of these commodities was still continuing, which was unfair.

It also expressed concern over the continued water rotation programme in Rohri and Nara canals despite availability of required flows.

The meeting was told that SAI had filed a petition in the Sindh High Court regarding unavailability of fertiliser at warehouses and its blackmarketing.

It also regretted that crushing season of sugar cane had not been started as yet.

It demanded that sugar mills should start crushing in line with the Sugar Factories Control Act. It condemned non-payment of sugar cane rate’s differential of Rs22 per 40kg by the Faran Sugar Mills announced in 2018.

The meeting apprehended that harvesting of cane crop would be delayed and, as a result, timely cultivation of wheat crop would be affected.

Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2023

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