Amritsar, Aug 22 (UNI) Senior BJP leader Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina on Sunday hit out at the ruling Congress for blatant lower prices of sugarcane in Punjab, pending dues of the sugarcane growers, leading to massive protest.
The BJP leader said Punjab was offering meager Rs 310 per quintal for the crop while neighbouring Haryana was giving Rs 345 and even Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand were doling out Rs 325 each for the past many years. Demanding at least Rs 400 per quintal for cane as Haryana is already giving Rs 383, Chhina termed the pitiable conditions of the farmers to the lower prices of the sugarcane and while the Centre government was increasing the prices every year, the state of Punjab has not enhanced the prices since 2017.
Apart from this, he said, the pending dues of the farmers are ruining them and they are left with no choice but to protest now as over 1.8 lakhs farmers are virtually on roads due to the faulty policies of the government.
Chhina also blamed Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh for benefitting the private mills by not increasing the prices for the last so many years. “There is clear cut involvement of the present regime with the private players who influence the price-change”, alleged he stating that the dues of the farmers have accumulated to more than 200 crores and the farmers were at the receiving end due to the failures of Capt Amarinder Singh’s government.
He said other states and Centre are offering higher cane prices, the Punjab government is paying no heed to the farmers for the price hike. “If Haryana can clear all the dues of the farmers why not government of Punjab,” he asked in a statement here.
The BJP leader said there are 16 sugar mills in state out of which seven are in government sector while the rest nine are private. “While the area under sugarcane cultivation has gone up from 96000 acres in 2017 to over 1.10 acres in 2021, the government has no plan so far to deal with the situation and ensure diversification. Both private and government mills owe sugar cane cultivators crores of rupees”, he said.