Committed to paying Rs 2,500 per tonne of crop, says CM

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that the government was committed to ensure the payment of Rs 2,500 per tonne of sugarcane announced for the 2013-14 season and honest attempts were being made in this regard.

He told the Council that rapid increase in sugarcane cultivation area and more production, besides less demand for sugar in international and domestic market resulted in the prices crashing. The fall in prices was among the reasons for the delay in payment of arrears to sugarcane growers.

The cultivation area has doubled in the last five years to 6.7 lakh hectares. The sugarcane production was 1.6 lakh tonnes in 2008-09, and it has now touched 49 lakh tonnes. The price per tonne of sugar has come down from Rs 3,000 to Rs 2,000, he said.

The government had announced Rs 150 incentive and Rs 100 tax exemption per tonne of sugarcane, and Rs 1,173 crore was paid to sugarcane farmers. Action against sugar factories, which did not pay the dues, could not be taken fast as sugarcane crushing season continued till April. But attempts were made and talks with the sugar factories were also held. Now, action has been initiated to ensure payments to growers, he said, adding that he would reveal the next step of the government on Tuesday.

‘Painful development’
“Farmers’ suicide is a painful development and I urge them not to end their lives as doing so is not a solution. Farmers should have confidence as the government is with them,” Siddaramaiah said.

Leader of the Opposition K S Eshwarappa urged the chief minister to announce that at least a portion of the dues to the growers would be settled.

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