The SAD-BJP government on Tuesday said it had cleared all the pending dues of the sugarcane growers by releasing Rs 90 crore, in a communication from the Chief Minister’s office.
“On the personal intervention of the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, the state government today cleared all the pending dues of the sugarcane farmers towards the state Cooperative Sugar Mills,” said a spokesperson from the CMO.
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“Against the total outstanding arrears of Rs 540 crore due towards cooperative sugar mills, Rs 210 crore and Rs 240 crore has already been paid by the cooperative sugar mills and government, respectively,” the spokesperson said.
Fulfilling its promise to release the second installment of Rs 90 crore in this month, the Punjab government has released this amount on September 1 thereby clearing all the outstanding sugarcane arrears of the farmers due towards the state Cooperative Mills, the spokesperson added.
On the directions of Chief Minister, a high level committee of senior officers headed by state Chief Secretary met here on Tuesday to thoroughly examine all aspects related to non-payment of outstanding sugarcane dues to the cane growers by the owners of the private sugar mills besides finding out ways and means to ensure smooth crushing season.
The Chief Minister has already directed the officers to submit a detailed report in this regard within a week.
The spokesperson further said that the committee will again meet the owners of private sugar mills on Wednesday to work out modalities to hasten the process of clearing the outstanding payments of the sugarcane farmers due towards them.
The committee comprising Additional Chief Secretary (Development), Principal Secretary Finance and Principal Secretary Cooperation as other members has been mandated to give suggestions to ensure hassle-free current crushing season besides evolving a mechanism for assured timely payment to the farmers supplying sugarcane to both the private and cooperative sugar mills to avert such crisis in the future.