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Sugarcane farmers to get their dues in three instalments: Punjab agri minister

Chandigarh,  Punjab Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal on Friday said sugarcane farmers will get their dues amounting to Rs 300 crore in three instalments.

The first installment of Rs 100 crore will be released by July 30, second of the same amount by August 30 and the third by September 15, said Dhaliwal after a meeting here with farm union leaders.

According to an official statement, he told farmer leaders that the state government is in the process of equipping the sugar mills with a state-of-the-art machinery and as part of this strategy, the mills at Batala and Gurdaspur are being modernised.

The minister said the government-constituted teams visited 730 spots in the cotton belt of Muktsar, Bathinda and Barnala where crops were damaged due to the whitefly attack.

The teams will visit again on July 28 to assess the damage.

Dhaliwal said in case somebody is found selling spurious seeds and pesticides to farmers, stringent action will be taken.

He will emphatically take up the issue of the cases registered against farmers during the stir against the Centre’s now-withdrawn farm laws, the minister assured.

Reiterating that Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has always kept the interests of farmers uppermost in his mind, he said the CM has written to the Centre protesting against the exclusion of Punjab from the committee formed on the MSP.

The chief minister stands fully committed to spare no effort for ensuring welfare and prosperity of the farming community of the state.

As part of this, it is the firm resolve of the state government to adopt zero tolerance policy towards any exploitation of sugarcane farmers by private mill owners, he said.

He said owners of private mills will be asked to ensure timely payments to farmers and in case of non-compliance, the mill will have to shut shop. PTI