IEP Chandigarh, January 25
While safeguarding the interest of the sugarcane farmers, Haryana Chief Minister today announced a hike of Rs. 10 per quintal. After this hike now the sugarcane farmers will be paid Rs. 372. This will come into force from this crushing season. The current price of sugarcane in the State is Rs.362 per quintal.
While addressing a press conference held at his residence Sant Kabir Kutir, today, Sh. Manohar Lal said that safeguarding the interest of farmers is the utmost priority of the State Government.
“I urge the farmers that the prices have been hiked and now they should bring their sugarcane to the mills so the mills can run smoothly. Closure of sugar mills is neither in the interest of the farmers nor of the mills”, said Sh. Manohar Lal.
The Chief Minister said though the current sugar price has not increased as expected still we are giving high prices for sugarcane crops as compared to the sugar price. The sugar mills are constantly facing financial losses but still, we have time and again safeguarded the interest of the farmers, he added.
He informed that at present the sugar mills of the state are facing a loss of Rs. 5293 crores. Average cost of sugar production is Rs. 4341 per quintal, which is much higher than the selling price of sugar i.e. Rs. 3400 per quintal. An amount of Rs. 1005 crore was provided as loan to the Co-Operative Sugar Mills and Rs. 329 crore was given as subsidy to all Co-Operative and Private Sugar Mills in last two years (2020-21 and 2021-22) as financial assistance, he added.
The percentage of sugar recovery in the cooperative mills is 9.75 percent while the percentage of private mills is 10.24, shared Sh. Manohar Lal.
He further shared that to increase the sugar recovery and to make the mills financially stable, the capacity of cooperative sugar mills is being increased along with setting up ethanol and energy plants. Besides this, the renovation of mills has been done.
Recommendations of the Committee
The Chief Minister said that the Committee constituted under the Chairmanship of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister, Sh. J.P Dalal and after considering the demands of the sugarcane farmers the committee had submitted its report. The Committee has held several meetings with the farmers, cooperative department, private mills, and subject experts and recommended the hike, along with other important recommendations, he shared.
He informed that the Committee recommended to diversify all Co-Operative Sugar Mills by installing Ethanol Plants, Power Co-generation in sugar mills commercial use of Bio-products like molasses, bagasse, press mud etc. Further, the Committee recommended to improve quality of the sugarcane for better sugar recovery percentage. The Committee suggested the Cooperation Department to explore some innovative business model including private participation for smooth economic viable concept for the running of Sugar Mills, he asserted.
As per assessment by the Agriculture Department, the cost of cultivation has increased due to increase in costs of inputs, labor charges, etc. The Committee deliberated at length the issues viz. the constraints of financial viability, huge financial losses faced by the Co-operative Sugar Mills. Further, the Committee was of the view that despite heavy financial losses, State Advised Price (SAP) of sugarcane may be increased, further shared Sh. Manohar Lal.
The Chief Minister said that due to cold weather conditions, the mustard crop has been damaged. Regular Girdawari will be started from February 5 to assess the damage and farmers will be given compensation for the damage.
We have always ensured timely payment to sugarcane farmers
Responding to a question, the Chief Minister said that since he has assumed power, timely payment to sugarcane farmers has been assured. An amount of Rs. 2628 crore has been paid in the year 2020-21, hence there is no pendency for this year. Similarly, in the year 2021-22, Rs. 2727.29 crore has been paid except PDC of Naraingarh Sugar Mill for Rs. 17.94 crore.
He further informed that directions have been issued to the cooperative sugar mills to make payment to the farmers within a week. Farmers have also been offered that if they wish to run the sugar mills, the government can also consider this subject.