The government has waived off premium on quality sugarcane for Sindh 2006-07, and its formal notification is likely to be issued in next couple of days. However, the industry will pay premium to the growers in Sindh on over and above the fixed price of the crop from the next crushing season.
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz's intervention is expected to bring the controversy over premium waiver for Sindh to an end for the current crushing season. He will discuss the issue with concerned officials that may help remove bottlenecks in issuance of the notification.
An official told Business Recorder on Thursday that the Prime Minister will chair a meeting on Friday to resolve the controversy over premium on quality sugarcane that led to the second time closure of the mills in Sindh and Punjab.
He said the government had fixed premium on quality sugarcane for Sindh while fixing the price for it at Rs 67 with an objective to give the growers benefit of quality crop.
The growers having better sucrose content were supposed to get premium on over and above the fixed price of Rs 67 for 40 kg. However, after strong protest from the mills in Sindh, implementation of decision was delayed for one year.
The official said "Its binding on the government to honour the decision of delaying the implementation of premium on quality sugarcane for one year and its formal notification is expected to the issued in next couple of days".
The officials of the ministry of Food and Agriculture and Industries and Production and Finance will give the prime minister a detail presentation on various factors that made the crushing season controversial.
The on-going crushing season has different characteristics. It became controversial from the day one as it started with a month long delay. It widened the gap of mistrust between the authorities and the industry. It also proved painful for the growers who were getting considerably less price of the crop than the last year. It's also different from the last one as the mills are not getting windfall profit that was a particular characteristic of 2005-06, season when the mills' margin was unprecedented. It, however, brought some relief to the common man who gets sugar at comparatively low price nowadays.