PUNJAB SUGARCANE FARMERS CALL OFF STIR AS CM HIKES SAP TO RS. 360/QUINTAL
STATE’S SUGARCANE SAP NOW STANDS AT RS 2 MORE THAN NEIGHBOURING HARYANA
Chandigarh, August 24:
Punjab’s sugarcane farmers on Tuesday withdrew their agitation in response to Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s announcement of a Rs 35/quintal hike in the state agreed price (SAP) for cane crushing season 2021-22, taking the SAP in the state to Rs 360 per quintal, which is Rs 2 higher than in neighbouring Haryana.
The matter was resolved during a meeting of farmer union leaders with the Chief Minister here this afternoon, during which Captain Amarinder, while agreeing to the SAP hike, said the state’s fiscal situation had prevented adequate increase in SAP for the past 3-4 years. The farmer union leaders had earlier pointed out that Punjab had failed to hike sugarcane SAP in proportion to Haryana over this period, causing fiscal losses to them.
The Chief Minister said the farmers were not to blame for the problem, which was caused by Punjab’s poor finances. While he was always with the farmers and wanted to do his best for their welfare, the state’s fiscal crisis had prevented him for increasing SAP earlier, he said, adding that balancing the needs of the farmers with those of the cooperative and private sugar mill owners was tough, given the prevailing fiscal situation.
Rana Gurjit Singh, who is himself a sugar mill owner besides being Congress MLA in Punjab, supported the farmers’ demand for increase in SAP.
The farmer union leaders, representing the Sanjha Kisan Morcha which has been spearheading the sugarcane farmers’ agitation for the past several days, thanked the Chief Minister for addressing their problem and announcing the SAP hike. They also expressed their appreciation for the Rs 5 lakh compensation and jobs to one family member each of the Punjab farmers who have lost their lives in the ongoing protest against the Farm Laws at the Delhi border.