Chandigarh, Nov 7 (SocialNews.XYZ) Veteran Congress leader and former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Tuesday said the BJP-JJP government in Haryana has played a joke with the farmers by increasing the price of sugarcane by only Rs 14 per quintal in the state.
He said the sugarcane farmers have been demanding the price of sugarcane should be increased to Rs 450 per quintal for a long time.
"Our government had increased the rate of sugarcane by a record Rs 193, taking it from Rs 117 to Rs 310. There was an increase of 165 per cent in nine years, which was the highest price in the country at that time," Hooda, who is also the Leader of Opposition, said.
"The BJP government has only increased the price of sugarcane from Rs 310 in 2014 to Rs 372 in 2023-24, that is, only 20 per cent increase in nine years,” he said.
He said the Congress government not only ensured purchase of sugarcane from the farmers, but also made sure the farmers received immediate payment. "At the time of leaving the government in 2014, there was not a single penny owed to the farmers by the sugarcane mills." he said.
Hooda said if the Congress government is formed in Haryana next year, the price of sugarcane will be raised to Rs 450 per quintal in the first Cabinet meet itself, and will once again be the highest rate for sugarcane in the country.
He said the BJP government had promised in 2015 to double the farmers' income by 2022. "In 2014, when we left power, the price of sugarcane was Rs 310. If the BJP government had kept the promise of doubling the farmer's income by 2022, then the price of sugarcane would have doubled to Rs 620. It has been a year since 2022, but nothing has happened," he said.
"Far from doubling the income of the farmers,the expenditure and debt on the farmers has doubled. The prices of diesel and petrol have doubled and taxes on expensive fertilisers and agricultural equipment have reduced the income of farmers.
"Due to this, the farmers of the state are feeling cheated. In the name of increasing the price of sugarcane, sometimes by Rs 5, Rs 10, now by only Rs 14 in the election year, the present government is playing a cruel joke with the farmers. Sugar is being sold at a higher price in the market while the government is not even paying the sugarcane farmers a fair price for their hard work," he added.
The two-time Chief Minister said the declared price of sugarcane is a matter of concern for the farmers and the future of sugar mills and consumers is also not good.
"Today, no crop is getting remunerative price in the state. But for the last several years, due to the spread of diseases and pests in sugarcane farming, the cost of the sugarcane crop has increased and the yield is also being greatly affected," he said.
"Therefore, it is necessary to increase the price of sugarcane by at least Rs 50 per quintal. But by increasing the price for 2023-24 by only Rs 14, the government forced the farmers not to cultivate sugarcane. Because the small increase in the declared price, farmers are only expected to incur a loss," he added.