Sugarcane FRP hike betters BJP’s poll pitch in western UP


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday gave its nod to a proposal to hike the fair and remunerative prices (FRP) for sugarcane by Rs 290 per quintal. This comes amid the BJP trying to buy peace with restive farmers in poll-bound western UP and Punjab.

Union Minister for Food Piyush Goyal said the hike in FRP will benefit five crore farmers and their dependents, besides workers. The decision will come in force for the 2021-22 season, which sets in from October. Cost of production of sugarcane for the sugar season 2021-22 is Rs 155 per quintal. This FRP of Rs 290 per quintal at a recovery rate of 10% is higher by 87.1% over production cost, thereby giving the farmers a return of more than 50% over cost.

The CCEA decision, even though routine and coming ahead of the sugar season, is likely to become a launch pad for BJP to reach out to farmers in western UP, which is the sugar bowl of the state. While farmers in that region often lament about unpaid arrears by sugar mills, BJP leaders from the region are working overtime to get these farmers to support the party like in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, when Jaths and SCs chose the saffron outfit ahead of RLD and BSP.

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