STAFF REPORT LHR: The Punjab government has fixed the minimum purchase price of sugarcane for the current season at Rs 170 per 40 kilograms or Rs 425 per 100 kilograms.

However, sugar factories may deduct from the purchase price, the transportation charges incurred by them on the cane purchased at purchase centres and other locations away from the factory gate at the rate of Rs 1.25 per quintal (100 kg) per kilometre subject to a maximum deduction for a distance of 40 kms from the factory gate for the crushing season 2012-13.

The Punjab government also announced the rate of Sugarcane (Development) Cess for crushing season at Rs 2 per 40 kg or Rs 5 per 100 kg (per quintal) or Rs 50 per metric ton. The incidences of the Cess amount will be shared equally by the sugar mills and the person (grower) selling sugarcane to the mill.

Meanwhile, Farmers Associate Pakistan (FAP) President Dr Tariq Bucha rejecting the fresh sugarcane minimum purchase price, said that it is far less than the input cost of the sugarcane growers. He claimed that on average sugarcane growers are bearing Rs 195 per maund input cost and like every business they must be given at least 10 per cent profit on this input cost. He said as per their calculations the government should have fixed it over Rs 200 per maund.

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