Accusing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) being insensitive to farmers, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) on Friday said sugar cane farmers in the state are yet to get their payment even three months after the crushing season for 2017-2018 came to an end.
In a Press statement, leader of the Opposition and INLD leader, Abhay Singh Chautala said about Rs 600 crore of the farmers’ money is still outstanding and they have been reduced to making repeated pleas to the mills and the government.
He also lamented the fact that many of the mills are government controlled cooperatives and yet the Manohar Lal Khattar government has not taken steps to get the dues cleared. Of the Rs 600 crores, the cooperative mills owe, approximately Rs 400 crores, while the private mills have about Rs 200 outstanding against them.
Chautala said cooperative mill of Jind has to pay Rs 27 Crore to the farmers whereas Rohtak mill has to pay Rs 52 Crore, Gohana mill Rs 32 Crore, Meham mill Rs 44 Crore, Shahbad mill Rs 72 Crore, Karnal mill Rs 38 Crore, Kaithal mill Rs 40 Crore, Panipat mill Rs 39 Crore, Sonipat Rs 25 Crore and Palwal mill Rs 26 crore.
These facts expose the farmer-friendly claims of the BJP government since non-payment of dues puts the farmers under undeserved pressure to make both ends meet in their daily life.
The leader of the Opposition said he had said he had told the government to streamline the system of cane purchase and prompt payment of dues.
Unfortunately, not only the state government had not paid heed to the advice but had also refused to give the State Advised Price (SAP) to the cane growers, Chautala said.
He also said that for the early variety of the sugar cane, the Centre had fixed Rs. 255 per quintal under Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) whereas the SAP had been recommended Rs 320 per quintal for the early variety and Rs 310 per quintal for the late variety. The fact that the Centre completely ignored its own costing of inputs and the State its own recommended SAP, speaks volumes of the hypocrisy of the BJP, the INLD leader said.
Chautala demanded that apart from fixing price of sugar according to the respective calculation of the states in order to genuinely implement the Swaminathan Commission report, the state should ensure that the mills pay to the farmers their dues within 15 days of the purchase of cane.