Chandigarh: The Punjab government is expected to announce the cane price for 2012-13 crushing season in next one week.

"The decision with regard to announcing State Advisory Price (SAP) for sugarcane for current crushing season is likely to be taken this week," a senior official of Punjab Cane department told reporters on Monday.

Cane crushing is expected to start after November 25 to produce 38 lakh quintals of sugar in the state, he added. The state has a total 16 sugarmills including 9 in cooperative sector.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is expected to chair the meeting of the Sugarcane Control Board to decide the new cane rate for the cane crushing season of 2012-13 this week in which representatives of cane growers and private sugar mills will also participate, the official said.

Though he refused to divulge any information about new cane rate, he said the intention of the state government while fixing the fresh rate will be to discourage state cane growers from selling sugarcane in neighbouring state of Haryana. The Haryana government has already proposed a hike of up to Rs 20 per quintal in cane rate for 2012-13 season which is currently higher than the rates of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, an official of Haryana Sugarcane department said.

Punjab paid Rs 230 per quintal for early varieties, Rs 225 for mid maturing varieties and Rs 220 for late maturing varieties as SAP for 2011-12 season. Notably, the cooperative sugar mills in Punjab are still to clear the arrears of Rs 30-32 crore to sugarcane growers for 2011-12 season, the official said.

"Sugarmills are expected to crush cane for 100 to 120 days in 2012-13 season," he said. Punjab, which has seen increase in cane acreage by over 10,000 hectares to 90,000 hectares in this season, is eyeing a production of 38 lakh quintals of sugar which will be almost same amount of sugar it produced in corresponding season last year.

However, Punjab will be producing less sugar as compared to Haryana which is anticipating sugar output of 49 lakh quintals this season on the back of increase in area and higher cane output, official sources said.

The total cane output is projected at 560 lakh quintals this season as against 550 lakh quintals of corresponding period. The total cane to be crushed is also projected at 426 lakh quintals with recovery rate of 9.25 percent.


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