Chandigarh: The Punjab farmers seeking a hike in sugarcane prices withdrew their agitation on Tuesday after Punjab’s Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced the state agreed price(SAP) of Rs 360 per quintal, Rs 2 higher than in neighbouring Haryana in the cane crushing season 2021-22. The Rs 35 per quintal hike in the SAP was welcomed by the agitated farmers.Also Read - Supreme Court Asks Centre To Find Solution to Blockade of Roads Due to Farmers Protest
The concerning matter was resolved in a meeting which was attended by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and farmers of union leaders. During the meeting, Singh agreed to the SAP hike and said that the state’s fiscal situation had prevented the adequate increase in the SAP for the past three-four years. Also Read - Police Recover Swords, Sticks From Farmers Protesting in Haryana's Ambala
Earlier, the protesting farmers union leaders had pointed out that Punjab had failed to increase the sugarcane SAP in comparison to Haryana resulting in fiscal losses. 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 from increasing SAP earlier, he added. Thus, balancing the needs of the farmers with those of the cooperative and private sugar mill owners was tough, given the prevailing fiscal situation. Congress MLA Rana Gurjit Singh, who owns a sugar mill supported the demands of the farmer. The Punjab MLA is in favour of the increase in SAP. Also Read - 'Committed For Farmers' Welfare And Rural Prosperity'
The farmers union leaders, representing the Sanjha Kisan Morcha which has been leading the sugarcane farmers agitation for the past several days, thanked the Chief Minister for addressing their problem and announcing the SAP hike. They 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. Delighted with the Chief Minister’s response to their demand, the morcha representatives, including Balbir Singh Rajjewal, offered him, sweets.
The Chief Minister was joined by Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, along with MPs Preneet Kaur and Partap Singh Bajwa, MLAs Rana Gurjit Singh, Raj Kumar Verka, Fatehjang Singh Bajwa, Navtej Singh Cheema, and Sushil Kumar Rinku, as well as Chairman of Punjab Mandi Board Lal Singh, Chairman Sugarfed Amrik Singh Aliwal.
(With Inputs From IANS)