Lahore : The Lahore High Court Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah ordered to sell sugar stock of Brothers Sugar Mill owned by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and deposit its amount with the court for payment to the aggrieved farmers who had provided sugarcane to it.
The chief justice passed this order on number of petitions filed by farmers against Brother Sugar Mill for not paying them dues for providing sugarcane to it. They said that the mill had to pay Rs 870 millions to the farmers who had provided sugarcane to the mill.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, on June 23, 2016, strictly warned sugar mills owners to pay dues to the farmers but in vain as the farmers could not get their dues even before Eid-ul-Fitr.
The sources said that sugar mills located in different districts of Punjab including Muzaffargarh, Rahim Yar Khan, Toba Tek Singh, Vehari, Faisalabad, Okara, Jhang, Sargodha and others have yet to pay 40 to 50 % dues to the farmers. Kisan Body made several contacts with mills’ management and government authorities but they paid deaf ear to their calls.
Protests of farmers were also recorded in different areas of the province in the past. The issue of the non-payment to the farmers was also taken up by the Punjab Assembly where the government authorities assured the growers to pay them fully but it only remained rhetoric.
During the court proceedings on Tuesday, the Chief Justice remarked that “the rights of the farmers would be protected and no one would be allowed to grab their hard earned-money.”