New Delhi, Jan 19 (Agencies): An all-party delegation led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with a demand to exempt sugarcane farmers from paying direct taxes.

Raising the issue in separate meetings with Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Chavan said the decision of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to levy taxes on the sugarcane growers will affect over 150 sugar cooperatives and 20 lakh farmers.

Besides Chavan, BJP chief Nitin Gadkari, Union Ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushilkumar Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Shiv Sena MP Anandrao Adsul were part of the delegation that met Singh and Mukherjee.

The delegation made an unanimous demand to the Prime Minister to direct the CBDT to keep its decision in abeyance.

The Prime Minister assured of all possible cooperation after deliberating the matter with the concerned department.

"He has agreed to look at it and the legal process being exhaustive, he needed time to become aware what the issues are," Chavan said after meeting Mukherjee.

Chavan said he also raised the matter of extending tax exemption to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority.