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regular-article-logo Thursday, 22 February 2024

Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann hikes sugarcane price by Rs 11 per quintal to Rs 391; farmers term it as 'betrayal'

The price hike came days after the chief minister assured farmers of 'good news' in the coming days

PTI Chandigarh Published 01.12.23, 01:32 PM
Bhagwant Mann

Bhagwant Mann File picture

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday announced a hike of Rs 11 per quintal in sugarcane price, saying the new rate of Rs 391 a quintal is the highest in the country.

However, farmers said the appreciation in cane price is "too meagre" and termed the state government's move as "betrayal".

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The price hike came days after the chief minister assured farmers of "good news" in the coming days.

"With an increase of Rs 11, the new rate will be Rs 391 per quintal, which will be the highest in the country," Mann said in a post on social media platform X.

According to an official statement issued later, Mann said in Punjab Rs 11 is considered as a 'shagun' (good omen) so his government has given this gift to the farmers.

Mann further said that he has fulfilled the promise he had made during his recent meeting with the farmers.

Earlier, farmers held protests demanding an increase in sugarcane price from Rs 380 per quintal to Rs 450 per quintal.

After the CM's announcement, farmers' organisation BKU (Doaba) president Manjit Singh Rai said the hike is too little.

"The hike in price is too meagre. It is a betrayal with farmers. We are not happy with the price increase," Rai said.

He said that the cane prices should be increased "as promised to us".

"During our meeting with the chief minister in Chandigarh last week, he had said Haryana has recently increased cane prices by Rs 14 per quintal and had assured that Punjab's increase will be by more than Rs 14 per quintal. So, we were expecting the hike to be at least Rs 400 plus," Rai said.

He said farmers will again be forced to protest if the government does not hike cane prices "as promised".

They have also demanded that the sugar mills in the state should be made operational immediately.

On Friday last week, farmers held a demonstration on a national highway in Jalandhar but decided to end their stir after Mann's assurance.

"As far as increasing the rate of sugarcane goes, Punjab has always been ahead," Mann had said last week.

Protestors under the banner of Samyukt Kisan Morcha had blocked the Jalandhar-Phagwara section of the Jalandhar-New Delhi National Highway near Dhanowali village.

The strike ended on the fourth day after a meeting between farmer leaders and the chief minister.

Neighbouring state Haryana had last month announced a hike of Rs 14 in the sugarcane price to Rs 386 a quintal.

Meanwhile, as per the official statement, Mann said his government is committed towards the wellbeing of every strata of society including the farmers, traders, weaker sections, employees and others.

Mann said that in the coming days good news for other sections of the society will also be given so as to ensure that a 'rangla (vibrant) Punjab' is carved out.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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