DMK opposes sugarcane pricing ordinance


New Delhi : The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a key partner in the ruling Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition, Thursday opposed the government’s decision to fix sugarcane price at Rs.129.85 a quintal for the 2009-10 crushing season.

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Congress MP from Uttar Pradesh Jagadambika Pal, through a special mention in parliament, also spoke out against the pricing formula under the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) system, and asked the government to fix the price at Rs.250 a quintal.

The central government has announced Rs.129.85 per quintal for sugarcane under the FRP system, while the Uttar Pradesh State Advisory Price (SAP) has been set between Rs.165 and Rs.170 per quintal.

Farmers want Rs.280 per quintal for their produce.

“The central government should have taken states into confidence. We are opposing it (the pricing),” said DMK leader T.R. Baalu.

DMK also demanded a “structured discussion” on the issue in parliament, but Baalu said his party would not join the opposition in disrupting the house proceedings.

“Our reservation on the issue would be raised at appropriate forums,” he said.

Parliament was adjourned for the day after the entire opposition united to stage noisy protests over the pricing issue.

Later, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav said the opposition would take the issue to the streets. “It will become a mass movement and later a big revolution,” he told reporters.

“Prices of essential commodities are shooting up, but the farmers are not getting the true prices for their produce. This is happening due to the wrong policies of the government,” Mulayam said.

Meanwhile, sources in the agriculture ministry told IANS that the matter was “sensitive” and a ministry-level meeting would be held Thursday evening to take a decision on the issue.