Narendra Modi to meet sugarcane farmers at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg today, discuss govt initiatives for cultivators

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet and interact with a delegation of about 150 sugarcane farmers at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg on Friday. The farmers' delegation consisting of representatives from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Maharashtra and Karnataka will meet the prime minister at his official residence, the personal website said.

 Narendra Modi to meet sugarcane farmers at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg today, discuss govt initiatives for cultivators

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AP.

Modi is likely to discuss various government initiatives undertaken for the overhaul of the sugarcane sector with the delegation. The prime minister may also apprise the cultivators of the various interventions by the Union Cabinet in ensuring payment of dues and the minimum support prices for farmers.

The move comes amid various farmers' movements being held across the nation, and especially the long-standing problems of non-payment of dues by sugar mills to the sugarcane farmers, and high power tariffs.

Recently, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) announced that inspired by the success of their Maharashtra March, they would hold a similar demonstration in New Delhi to demand a special session of Parliament for early resolution of their woes.

"A meeting of the central office-bearers of the AIKS decided to support the idea of a long march of the dispossessed to Delhi to demand a special session of Parliament called entirely to discuss the serious agrarian crisis in the country," AIKS general secretary Hannan Mollah said on Tuesday.

Accusing the government of creating "unprecedented" agrarian crisis, the farmers' organisation said that the date of the long march would be finalised after wider consultation with other organisations and individuals. It could be held any time after 5 September.

On Wednesday, cane cultivators in Haryana, protesting in front of the office of Minister of State for Cooperatives Manish Grover, alleged non-payment of dues by the sugar mills, The Tribune reported.

In May, a protesting sugarcane lost his life in western Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat only a day before Modi was scheduled to address an election rally in the area.

The focus was shifted back on the woes of sugarcane farmers and cash-starved millers after the ruling BJP lost the Kairana Lok Sabha seat in a bypoll. The Union Cabinet has come out with several relief packages and schemes to help relieve the farmers of their burdens. The Centre on Wednesday hiked the prices of ethanol, which is extracted in the process of making sugar from sugarcane.

Moreover, to bail out the sugar industry and help them clear about Rs 20,000 crore cane arrears, the government recently announced relief measures of Rs 8,500 crore, including a soft loan of Rs 4,500 crore for adding ethanol capacity, the creation of buffer stock of sweetener and production-linked subsidy to cane growers.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jun 29, 2018 09:45:18 IST