Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday assured the Legislative Assembly that the interests of sugarcane growers would be protected and that stringent measures would be initiated against sugar factories that fail to pay the prescribed rates to the growers. He also promised to release the dues towards the incentive being paid by the government within a week.

Following his assurance, the Opposition parties withdrew their overnight dharna that was being staged in the well of the House to draw the attention of the government on the plight of the sugarcane growers, who were not getting the full Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) fixed by the Centre.

The Chief Minister noted that the government was supposed to provide Rs. 574 crore to sugarcane growers according to its commitment of paying an incentive of Rs. 150 a tonne to them. Accordingly, Rs. 398 crore had already been released, while the remaining Rs. 176 crore would be released within a week, he said.

“It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that the sugar factories pay their dues to growers. There is no question of compromising the interests of sugarcane growers. The government will act sternly against erring sugar mills irrespective of their political affiliations,” he said.

Minister for Co-operation H.S. Mahadeva Prasad said he had called a meeting of representatives of all the five sugar factories in Bijapur as well as farmers’ leaders on Thursday to find a solution in the wake of growers’ unrest in the district over the sugarcane price issue.

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