Chennai, Feb 17 (Calcutta Tube) Taking her demand for remunerative price for sugarcane to the central government, AIADMK general secretary J. Jayalalithaa has requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to increase the procurement price.
On Wednesday, 15 AIADMK MPs delivered Jayalalithaa’s letter to theprime minister. In it, she asked the prime minister to take right action that would benefit the people of Tamil Nadu.
Citing the central government’s constant advice to the states to monitor the prices of essential items while ensuring that the farmers receive their due, Jayalalithaa in her letter said the Tamil Nadu government has failed on both the counts.
Though the farmers produce sweet-tasting sugarcane, their lives in the state have turned bitter, the letter noted.
‘As a result of the state government’s warped sugarcane pricing policy, more and more farmers have opted out of their traditional occupation and moved into alien fields,’ she wrote.
Consequently, sugar production, which was 2.1 million tonnes in 2005-06, dropped to 1.6 millon tonnes in 2008-09.
‘This drastic decrease in production, which is in inverse proportion to demand, is one of the main causes for the multi-fold increase in the price of sugar in the open market, opening the doors for black-marketeers, hoarders and sundry other anti-social elements to exploit the demand and supply situation,’ the letter notes.
In order to avoid the large-scale import of sugar which would lead the sugarcane farmers into debt trap, Jayalalithaa requested the prime minister to increase the fair and remunerative price of sugarcane substantially, and also to impress upon the Tamil Nadu government to increase its support price to Rs.2,500 per tonne.