The Uttar Pradesh government is working to ensure that in the next couple of years, sugarcane farmers are paid their dues within 10 days as opposed to 14 days currently, Sugarcane Development Minister Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary has said.
He said the government has expedited the process of clearing payments to sugarcane cultivators, as a result of which they have already been paid Rs 14,500 crore against the target of Rs 8,000 crore in 100 days of the Yogi Adityanth 2.0 regime.
The minister claimed that sugarcane has become the main crop in the state under Adityanath’s leadership.
“In the first 100 days of the Uttar Pradesh government, the sugarcane department has paid Rs 14,500 crore to the farmers against the target of Rs 8,000 crore. This year, mills have purchased sugarcane worth Rs 35,000 crore, and payments amounting to Rs 29,000 crore have been made,” Chaudhary told PTI in an interview.
With the recent state Assembly election taking place in the midst of farmers’ protests against three contentious farm laws of the Centre — in which sugarcane growers, particularly from western Uttar Pradesh, had participated actively — the issue surrounding sugarcane was an important poll narrative.
“Sugarcane has become the main crop of the farmers of Uttar Pradesh. Under the leadership of Yogi Adityanath ji, in the past five years, Rs 40,000 crore payment was made to farmers after purchase of wheat, while a payment of Rs 60,000 crore was made to farmers for purchase of paddy.
“And, in the case of sugarcane, Rs 1.80 lakh crore payment was made to farmers during the earlier regime of Adityanath and the money was transferred to their accounts,” he said.
The minister said the area under sugarcane cultivation in the state has increased by six per cent and the sugar mills that were shut down by the previous governments have not only been restarted but their capacities enhanced.
“In two years, we want to create such a situation where the payment is done within 10 days as compared to the current 14 days,” the minister said.
Chaudhary said research is underway for newer varieties of sugarcane.
Speaking about politics, the five-time MLA from Chhata seat in Mathura took a swipe at the Congress saying it is unable to find a state chief in the politically important state.
A prominent Jat leader, Chaudhary also came down heavily on Akhilesh Yadav and said that Samajwadi Party chief has “completely failed” in the politics of alliances.
“Samajwadi Party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav was a leader with ears to the ground and he rose from a humble family to lead Uttar Pradesh thrice as its chief minister. On the fourth occasion, after getting full majority, he handed over the responsibility to his son, but Akhilesh was unable to hold the reins.”
‘Netaji’ (as Mulayam Singh Yadav is called by his supporters) was “quick in forging alliances”. He had aligned with the Congress, the BSP and even the Communists, when it was necessary. However, Akhilesh has completely failed in the politics of alliances, he added.
The 71-year-old leader was considered as the “Jat face” during the Mayawati government in the state from 2006-11, but he crossed over to the BJP in 2015.
Chaudhary was also a minister in Adityanath’s previous government.