KARACHI: A body of growers on Saturday filed a petition with the Sindh High Court (SHC) seeking action against sugar mills’ owners for not paying quality premium to the growers for the crushing seasons of the last 20 years between 1998-99 and 2018-19, and the minimum procurement price of sugar cane at Rs182 per 40 kilogrammes (kg) to the growers for the 2018-19 crushing season.
The Sindh Growers Alliance submitted in the petition that the sugar mills’ owners were liable to pay the growers the quality premium at the end of the crushing season at such rates as may be determined by the government in proportion of the sucrose recovery of such factory in excess of the base level sucrose contents, viz. 8.7 per 40 kg.
Petitioner’s counsel Syed Mureed Ali Shah submitted that the sugar mills had gone in litigation against the raise of 32 paisa per 40 kg to 50 paisa per 40 kg and obtained stay from the higher judiciary.
The counsel submitted that the Supreme Court had dismissed the petitions of the sugar mills on March 5, 2018 and observed that the grant of quality premium was just and fair based on statutory provisions.
He argued that the apex court held that the impugned notification was validly issued and observed that in the future, a notification as per the past practice for payment of quality premium should be issued along with the notification of fixation of the minimum procurement price of sugar cane and the same should be paid to the growers not later than two months after the crushing season was over.