MUZAFFARGARH: Police arrested on Monday up to 23 brokers of sugarcane. In all, 36 cases were registered against the middlemen who had established private weighing scales along roads, buying cane from farmers at lower rates here in Muzaffargarh.
Dawn has learnt the crackdown was launched on the directions of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif who ordered Deputy Commissioner Saif Anwar Jappa to check middleman. Brokers were buying cane at Rs110 per 45 kilogrammes whereas sugar mills had also not issued permits to farmers.
Farmers were still struggling to sell their produce at Rs180 per 40 kilogrammes. Farmers said mills administrations were open to buy cane at Rs157 per 40 kilogrammes.
Now, when middlemen were on the run, farmers were facing more exploitation from the millers.
Muzaffargarh Assistant Commissioner Dr Saif Bhatti got registered 36 cases under the sugarcane act in Sadar police station.
Malik Tahir, a farmer, said why the district administration was not taking action against the mill officials who were also looting farmers.
This year, sugarcane was cultivated on 400,000 acres in Muzaffargarh.
Farmers said the cash crop had become had burden for them. First, the mills administrations had refused to buy cane citing the verity issue. Now, the mills administration had stopped buying the crop and issuing payments.
Assistant Labour Director Tahir Gurchani said that they were waiting the order from his high ups to take action against the millers.
( DAWN )