The BJP-led government in Maharashtra is likely to announce advancing of the sugarcane crushing season date, by at least a fortnight, following objections from several sugar mills.
The decision to change the dates for the crushing season is expected to be taken at a meeting of the cabinet committee here tomorrow, a state farmers' leader said.
"There are various proposals on the new date. It could be November 1, November 7 or November 15," the leader told PTI.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had earlier this month stated that the sugarcane crushing season for 2016-17 will begin in the state from December 1.
That decision was taken at a meeting of a cabinet committee headed by Fadnavis.
"Fadnavis took this decision based on inputs from a senior BJP ministerial colleague and a senior NCP leader," he said.
Meanwhile, Lok Sabha member Raju Shetti, two-term MP from Kolhapur in western Maharashtra's sugar belt, said the government "being forced" to reconsider crushing season date has happened for the first time and is a classic example of this government's "alienation" from farmers.
"December 1 was announced for the convenience of a few sugar mills. The government has now realised its folly," Shetti said.
"Maharashtra cooperation minister Subhash Deshmukh owns a couple of sugar mills. Despite this, such an anti-farmer decision was taken by the government. I have received communication from 20 sugar mills, seeking advancement of the crushing season," he said.