Punjab announces crushing season, new cane prices soon

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday gave approval to start cane crushing from November 25 for 2012-13 season, an official release said. However, the state may announce the cane price in the next one week.

"The decision with regard to announcing State Advisory Price (SAP) for sugarcane for current crushing season is likely to be taken this week," a senior official of Punjab Cane department told PTI.

Badal is expected to decide the cane rate in a meeting of the Sugarcane Control Board this week in which representatives of cane growers and private sugar mills will also participate, the official said, adding that the intention of the state government while fixing the fresh rate will be to discourage the farmers in the state from selling sugarcane in neighbouring Haryana.

The Haryana government has already proposed a hike of up to Rs 20 per quintal in cane rates for 2012-13 season, which is currently higher than the rates of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, an official of Haryana Sugarcane department said.

Punjab paid Rs 230 per quintal for early varieties, Rs 225 for mid maturing varieties and Rs 220 for late maturing varieties for 2011-12 season.

Notably, the cooperative sugar mills in Punjab are still to clear the arrears of Rs 30-32 crore to sugarcane growers for 2011-12 season, the official said.

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