After loss in bypolls, U.P. govt. seeks to tackle cane crisis

Days after the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh lost the Kairana Lok Sabha seat and Noorpur Assembly seat, the Yogi Adityanath government is trying to sort out the crisis posed by cane dues and the ongoing agitation of farmers. The mills owe Rs. 12,570 crore to the farmers for the cane sold till June 1.

State Cane Development Minister Suresh Rana told The Hindu that he had personally taken up the issue with Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and Union Minister for Food and Supplies Ram Vilas Paswan.

“As Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji said in Baghpat, the governments in Delhi and U.P. are quite sensitive to the problems of farmers and cane dues. The U.P. government has cleared the largest amount of cane dues to the farmers unlike the governments in the past which didn’t bother at all,” he said.

“As honourable Prime Minister has announced, the Central government will provide Rs. 5.50/quintal to the cane farmers to ease their burden. That money will be directly transferred to their bank accounts. Apart from that, the Yogi government is also considering a series of steps to ensure speedy clearance of cane dues,” added Mr. Rana whose constituency Thana Bhawan was part of the Kairana Lok Sabha seat.

Mr. Rana said that he held a series of meetings with the officials of the cane department to facilitate speedy payment of cane dues.

“We are quite strict on sugar mills. The district administrations has been asked to take action against the mills which are sitting on payments,” he added.

The Sugar Mills Association last month wrote to Mr. Adityanath informing him that due to the ongoing financial crisis the sugar mills would not run this crushing season beginning in September.