Sugar News Details

Direct pvt sugar mills to start crushing, growers tell govt


Chandigarh/morinda, Nov 30
The Cane Growers’ Struggle Committee today asked the state government to direct private sugar mills to start cane-crushing at the earliest, failing which an agitation would be launched across the state.
Private sugar mills have refused to start crushing operations, demanding that the state government reimburse Rs 35 per quintal — the difference between the State Advised Price (SAP) of Rs 310 per quintal and the Fair Remunerative Price of Rs 275 fixed by the Centre.
Representatives of the committee today held parleys with the Chief Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Suresh Kumar, Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar and Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Randhawa, demanding early cane-crushing by private mill owners.
Committee leader Kulwant Singh Sandhu said 70 per cent of the crushing was done by private mills and the remaining by cooperative mills.
Randhawa said the department released dues of Rs 100 crore to the cane growers that were pending with the cooperative sugar mills. Another Rs 92 crore was still pending with the cooperative mills. So far, the Cooperative Department has released Rs 500 crore to the cane growers.
On Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal joining the cane growers’ protest, Randhawa said, “If Sukhbir is concerned about cane growers, he should stage a dharna against former chairman of Sugarfed and Akali leader Jarnail Singh Wahid, who owes dues of Rs 46.3 crore to cane growers for crushing done at his privately owned Wahid Sandhar Sugar Mill. The private mills owe Rs 192 crore to the cane growers.”
Meanwhile, Sukhbir said farmers must get 18 per cent interest on the amount of payment delayed against the purchase of their crops.
He alleged that the farmers were being exploited by the state government as first they were not paid for their produce of last year and now their crop of sugarcane was not being purchased.
Sukhbir, who was in Morinda to take part in a dharna outside a sugar mill, said in case the payments were delayed, farmers must be compensated with 18 per cent interest per annum.
He urged the farmers to unite to force the Congress government to pay SAP of Rs 350 per quintal for sugarcane procurement as well as the release of accumulated dues of Rs 400 crore.