Punjab Agriculture

Punjab CM directs private sugar mills to start cane crushing immediately

December 05, 2018 06:08 PM

CHANDIGARH: Giving a major relief to the agitating cane growers of Punjab, the Captain Amarinder Singh government has decided to pay Rs.25 per quintal directly to the sugarcane farmers, while also announcing immediate release of Rs.65 crores towards the interest on loans taken by private sugar mill owners to clear pending dues of farmers.

The Chief Minister has also directed the private sugar mills to immediately start the crushing operations, which have already been delayed by over a fortnight. The private sugar mills who were not paying the sugar cane price as recommended by state government and crushing of sugar cane was delayed due to stalemate between farmers and millers. The farmers were demanding to pay their arreaRS WORTH rS.470 crores.

Only yesterday Congress Rajya abha member Partap Singh Bajwa had thretened to join the farmer's agitation if sugar mills were not directed to start sugarcane crushing. He told the Chief minister to intervene into the matter.

The Chief Minister has announced that the State Government would pay Rs.25 per quintal on sugarcane to the farmers directly out of the State Assured Price (SAP) of Rs.310 per quintal, while the remaining Rs.285 per quintal would be paid to them by the private sugar mills.

The decision was taken by the Chief Minister at a meeting with the owners of the private sugar mills here at his official residence this afternoon.

According to an official spokesperson, Captain Amarinder Singh has also directed the Financial Commissioner Development to ensure smooth commencement of crushing, along with meticulous implementation of the settlement reached between the owners of the sugar mills and state government.

In line with the commitment made by the State Government in 2015 to bear the interest on the loan of Rs.200 crore taken by the private sugar mills to clear the payment of farmers for the 2015-16 crushing season, the Chief Minister also announced that the state government would immediately release the accumulated interest, amounting to nearly Rs.65 crore, directly to the farmers to partly clear dues of Rs.192 crore pending with the private mill owners.

The private mill owners assured the Chief Minister that the balance amount due to the farmers for the crushing season 2017-18 would be paid by them directly at the earliest.

Cabinet Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Advocate General Atul Nanda, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, Financial Commissioner Development Viswajeet Khanna, Principal Secretary Finance Anirudh Tiwari and Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh were present in today’s meeting.

The Private Mill owners at the meeting included Rajinder Singh Chadha, Kamal Oswal, Rana Inder Partap Singh, Jarnail Singh Wahid and Kunal Yadav.

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