Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann Friday hiked the sugarcane price by Rs 11 per quintal, saying the new rate of Rs 391 a quintal is the highest in the country. The hike is Rs 3 more than what was recommended by the Ludhiana-based Punjab Agricultural University. The farmers unions who had been demanding a Rs 70 per quintal increase, however, rejected the hike as “too little” and warned that they will again be forced to protest if the government does not effect the price rise “as promised”.
Earlier, Mann took to X to announce the hike. “Today is an auspicious day for the farmers of Punjab, as the price of the sugarcane has been increased by Rs 11. The rate of the sugarcane is Rs 391, which is the highest in the country,” Mann said.
According to an official statement issued later, Mann said, in Punjab Rs 11 is considered as a ‘shubh shagun’ (good luck token) so his government has given this gift to the farmers. Mann further said that he has fulfilled the promise he had made during his recent meeting with the farmers. Mann said in the coming days “Punjabis will get more such good news”.
The farmers, who had been protesting for four days in Jalandhar demanding that the state advised price (SAP) of sugarcane be hiked from Rs 380 per quintal to Rs 450 per quintal, had called off their dharna after meeting Mann who had assured them of “good news” very soon. The farmers were also demanding that the sugar mills in the state be made operational immediately.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal) president Balbir Singh Rajewal was quick to reject the hike. “It is too little. I was abroad and have just reached Punjab. We will soon hold a meeting to announce the further course of action,” said Rajewal.