Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Monday announced an increase in the price of sugarcane to Rs 380 per quintal, a hike of Rs 20.
Announcing this on the floor of Assembly, he said the farmers will get the additional amount under State Agreed Price (SAP) of sugarcane as compared to the last year.
With this decision, the state government will spend additional Rs 200 crore annually to benefit the farmers.
Mann said the farmers of the state eagerly want to adopt sugarcane crop under crop diversification, but they are hesitant for it due to lack of adequate price and timely payment of the crop.
At present, sugarcane is cultivated on just 1.25 lakh hectares in Punjab, while the total crushing capacity of sugar mills was around 2.50 lakh hectares. This is why the state government has decided to enhance the price to supplement the income of farmers, he said.
Informing the House about the present status of the payments, the Chief Minister said cooperative sugar mills have already paid the entire dues of the farmers but two private sugar mills have not paid the dues yet.
He said the owners of the mills have fled from the country, adding the state government has already initiated the process to confiscate their assets to pay the pending dues of the farmers.