A large number of sugarcane farmers from different areas of Bahawalpur district have claimed that the district administration is not taking action against the illegal purchasing centres despite protests.
During a meeting with Pakistan Kisan Movement Secretary General Hanif Gujjar, they alleged that the district administration is “doing its best to protect and support sugar mafia”.
Punjab Cane Commissioner had recently issued instructions to all districts of Punjab that any illegal purchase of sugarcane directly by middlemen from any purchasing centre without approval is not allowed.
As the Punjab cane commissioner has not authorized any middleman for the said purchase, the person applying for the permission from cane commissioner has to deposit Rs20 million in the government treasury before getting the permission for the purchase.
The farmers appealed the Punjab chief minister, chief secretary and cane commissioner to immediately take action against middlemen, as they are buying sugarcane at Rs170 per 40kg, thus flouting the orders of the Punjab cane commissioner.
The middlemen are selling the same sugarcane in Sindh at much higher rates, they added.
The farmers demanded that immediate police action should be taken against this mafia who are looting the poor farmers of Bahawalpur district.