Chandigarh, Jan 25 (PTI) Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday announced a Rs 10 per quintal hike in sugarcane price, raising the crop's rate to Rs 372 a quintal.
The new price will come into force from the current crushing season.
Khattar said that safeguarding the interest of farmers is the utmost priority of the state government.
"I urge the farmers that the prices have been hiked and now they should bring their sugarcane to the mills so the mills can run smoothly. Closure of sugar mills is neither in the interest of the farmers nor of the mills," he said.
Crushing at sugar mills had recently come to a halt as protesting farmers had stopped supply of sugarcane by locking the main entrances of the fourteen mills in the state.
The farmers had been demanding a hike in the sugarcane's state advised price from Rs 362 to Rs 450 per quintal.
According to an official statement, the Chief Minister said though the current sugar price has not increased as expected, Haryana is giving high prices in comparison to other states.
The chief minister said that the opposition and some farmer unions were doing politics on this issue (on cane price issue), which is not fair. Farmers also understand today that the sugar mills are running at a loss and despite this, the government is taking decisions in the interest of the farmers, he said.
The statement, quoting official data, said at present the sugar mills of the state are facing a loss of Rs 5,293 crore.
The percentage of sugar recovery in the cooperative mills is 9.75 per cent while the percentage of private mills is 10.24 per cent, he said.
He further said that to increase the sugar recovery and make the mills financially stable, the capacity of cooperative sugar mills is being increased along with setting up ethanol and energy plants. Besides this, the renovation of mills has been done.
The chief minister said that a committee was earlier constituted under the chairmanship of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Minister J P Dalal and after considering the demands of the sugarcane farmers the committee had submitted its report.
The committee held several meetings with the farmers, cooperative department, private mills, and subject experts and recommended the hike, along with other important recommendations, he said.
He said timely payment to sugarcane farmers has been assured. A total of Rs 2,628 crore has been paid in the year 2020-21, hence there is no pendency for this year.
Khattar said that directions have been issued to the cooperative sugar mills to make payment to the farmers within a week. Farmers have also been offered that if they wish to run the sugar mills, the government can also consider this.
Meanwhile, the chief minister said that due to intense cold weather conditions, the mustard crop has been damaged. Regular Girdawari (revenue survey) will be started from February 5 to assess the damage and farmers will be given compensation for the damage. PTI CHS VSD HVA