June 30, 2021 2:54:09 am
In the run-up to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls scheduled for next year, cane growers in the state, reeling under dues of over Rs 10,000 crore, have decided to protest across UP in July. The farmers will protest under the banner of Uttar Pradesh Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, led by farmer leader V M Singh.
Singh has declared that farmers will protest in district headquarters between July 6-12, culminating in a mega-protest in state capital Lucknow on July 15. “During the campaign rally for the UP assembly polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised timely payment of cane dues if voted to power. Cane growers in the state are waiting for over four-and-a-half years for fulfilment of this promise,” he said.
In a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Singh has raised the issue of unpaid dues for the 2020-21 crushing season as well as the non-payment of interest for the previous seasons. Sugar mills are expected to pay a 15 per cent interest to farmers for non-clearance of the basic Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) for cane procured within 14 days of delivery.
“Farmers from the Paliya tehshil of Lakimpur Kheri have been protesting since the last 23 days over non-payment of their dues. These farmers have been paid just 13 per cent of their dues and mills are yet to pay their growers Rs 336 crores,” the letter dated June 28 read.
He also accused certain mills in the state, which have dues of Rs 200-400 crore, of paying off only part of the payments to the farmers.
Singh’s fight for payment of interest dates back to 1995-96, when he had fought for the same before various courts.
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