Maha sugarcane cutters' union insists on Rs 200 per tonne
A prominent union, among those representing the around nine lakh sugarcane cutters in Maharashtra, has said they will strike work if the sugarcane cutting rate is not hiked to Rs 200 per tonne.
The announcement by the `Maharashtra Oos Todani Va Vahatuk Kamgar Sanghatana', after failed talks with state cooperatives minister, has come days ahead of the crushing season, commencing after Dussehra.
"We get paid Rs 111 per tonne now. However, in neighbouring Gujarat, it is Rs 177 per tonne, Rs 168 in Karnataka and Rs 194 in Madhya Pradesh where it will be up by Rs 25 after April," Sanghatana President D L Karad told PTI.
Cooperatives minister Harshwardhan Patil, during a meeting on October 6, suggested that the rate be increased to Rs 135, Karad said, adding the union was not happy with this rate.
Politicians, who manage the sugar mills, benefit at cost of sugarcane farmers and cane cutters, Karad said. Of the around 200 sugar mills in the state, including over a dozen private mills, almost 20 are closed, he added.
Almost half the number of sugarcane cutters is from Beed district from where 3.5 lakh go to various parts of the state and 1.5 lakh go to other states, Karad said. .