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LAHORE: The Cane Commissioner Punjab has sought clarification from sugar mills in the province for announcing start of crushing from November 10, 2022, while the cane support price and start of crushing season 2022-23 is yet to be notified by the provincial government.

In a letter issued to the occupier of Ramzan Sugar Mills Limited, situated in District Chiniot, Cane Commissioner Hussain Bahadur stated that his office is hearing through different sources that the said sugar mill is going to start sugarcane crushing on November 10, 2022.

He further wrote that the provincial government is yet to notify the date of starting of crushing season 2022-23 while the support price of the sugarcane has also not been announced. The Cane commissioner has directed the said mill to clarify its position regarding sugarcane price to be paid to the sugarcane farmers in this regard, if it is going to start crushing on November 10, 2022, the letter added.

It may be mentioned here that the cane commissioner office in another letter on October 12, 2022, had directed all the occupiers of the sugar mills in the Punjab to start preliminary preparations in run up to start crushing season.

The letter stated that section 2(h) of the Punjab Sugar Factories (Control) Act 1950 defines the crushing season as the period beginning on the 1st October in any year and ending on the 30th June next following. Section 8 of the Act Ibid ordains the occupier of a factory to start crushing of cane not later than a date specified by the government which shall not be later than 30th November of every year.

Nevertheless, though first week of November is almost over, the provincial government is yet to announce the support price or the start of crushing season. On contact, the Cane Commissioner said they could not force any sugar mill not to start crushing. However, he said that we have just asked the position of the mill and the price they will pay.

Sources said the provincial Food department had already two meetings on the issue of sugarcane support price and the date of start of crushing. They said the growers and millers had attended those meetings and the growers were demanding price from Rs 300 per maund to Rs 400 per maund. Millers had no objection to whatever price the government announces but they demand sugar price in line to that increase.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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