Chandigarh: Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday said cane prices in the state are lower than that of Haryana, UP and Uttarakhand despite higher input cost and sought better prices for state farmers.
The statement by the state Congress chief has come a day before Punjab CM Amarinder Singh is scheduled to meet farmer leaders’ over the issue.
Farmers have blocked a national highway and rail tracks in the state’s Jalandhar and their protest continues as their meeting with state ministers on Sunday remained inconclusive.
They met state officials over the issue on Monday.
Commenting over it, Sidhu in a tweet said the issue should be immediately resolved amicably.
Strange that despite the higher cost of cultivation in Punjab the state assured price is too low as compared to Haryana / UP / Uttarakhand. As torchbearer of agriculture, the Punjab SAP should be better, tweeted.
Meanwhile, Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa also demanded an increase in cane prices and release of pending dues.
He said Rs 117.60 crore is still pending for the year 2020-21.
This amount is due to the cane growers as on 18.8.2021. This amount is huge for the struggling cane farmers of Punjab, he said in a letter to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
I request you to kindly issue orders to release the remaining payments so as to ensure all dues are paid for the 2020-21 season, said the Rajya Sabha MP.
Over cane prices, Bajwa said it is also a matter of great concern that the State Assured Price (SAP) of sugarcane has not seen an increase during the last four seasons and it remains at Rs 310 per quintal.
The increase of Rs 15 declared by your government is not enough because the cost of production has increased over the last four years, he noted.
He said neighbouring state of Haryana has announced Rs 358 per quintal for the 2021-22 season.
It is in the best interest of cane growers of Punjab to increase the SAP to Rs 350 per quintal for the 2021-22 season, he stated.
Punjab’s main opposition party AAP slammed the Amarinder Singh-led government for not clearing dues of cane growers and raising cane prices.
AAP leader Harpal Singh Cheema demanded that the price of sugarcane be fixed at Rs 400 per quintal.
Protesters have blocked the Jalandhar-Phagwara stretch of the Delhi-Amritsar national highway near Dhanowali village of Jalandhar district.