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SAD asks Punjab govt to hike state-advised price for sugarcane

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Chandigarh, Oct 31 (PTI) Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal Wednesday asked the Congress-led Punjab government to immediately hike state-advised price (SAP) for sugarcane to Rs 360 per quintal.

The party alleged that the state government was "hell bent" upon driving sugarcane farmers to suicide by refusing to come to their aid in the time of dire crisis.

In a statement here, the SAD president said it was shocking that the government had not announced the SAP for this year as was the standard practice during the 10-year tenure of the SAD-BJP government.

He said the SAD-BJP government used to not only ensure remunerative price to sugarcane growers but also offset the loss suffered by private mills due to increased SAP vis-a-vis the fair and remunerative price (FRP) fixed by the central government.

He said the SAD-BJP government had given an additional SAP amount of Rs 50 per quintal in 2015-16.

"Private sugar mills were also facilitated soft loans of Rs 200 crore during the SAD-BJP tenure with the government taking on the burden of the interest quotient," he added.

Badal said the Congress government's apathy towards farmers could be seen from the fact that instead of announcing an enhanced SAP above Rs 310 per quintal, the government had failed to announce any SAP at all.

"This has resulted in private sugar mills, which crush 70 per cent of the total sugarcane in the state, getting together and announcing through advertisements that they will pay farmers as per the FRP of Rs 275 per quintal only. This is a catastrophic development for sugarcane farmers," Badal said.

"We are with the farmers and will agitate alongside them to demand an enhanced SAP," he added. PTI CHS SMN

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by BW staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.

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