Cane farmers stage dharna

Farmers from dif¬ferent districts staged a protest demonstration in front of the Shakkar Bhavan here on Mon¬day demanding a hike of at least Rs 500 per ton in the state advisory price (SAP) for sugarcane. They also de¬manded the government to scrap VAT on sugarcane.

The Bharatiya Kisan Sangh state unit general secretary Sridhar Reddy pointed out that farmers from the State were in for a trying time as the five per cent VAT being levied on Sug¬arcane rendered it un-remunerative. The Government had also failed to hike the sap also.

According to him with 80 percent of sugar was going for commercial consumption. Only 20 per cent was left out to meet the domestic needs.

"Crores of rupees of revenue is being generated by it for the government, but farm¬ers continued to be at the re¬ceiving end", he said.

The farmers were already facing the heat from surging prices of fertilizers, diesel labour and other expenditures. But the government failed to support the farmers by address¬ing their concerns. By collect¬ing 5 per cent VAT the State government is generating Crores of rupees through taxes on Molasses.

The leaders pointed out that when the purchase price was Rs 2,600 per ton, the Central government has quoted the cost of production irrationally at Rs.2.100. Anji Reddy, an¬other leader pointed out that neighbouring State of Maharastra was providing Rs.2800 on purchase and also giving Rs.600 on transportation and harvest.