New Delhi, Oct 10 (PTI) Rajya Sabha Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to intervene and ensure that dues of sugarcane farmers in Punjab are released.
In his letter, Bajwa said sugar mills having unpaid dues of farmers for a year or more should be banned from operating in the market.
He has also suggested steps to ensure release of pending dues at the earliest.
Bajwa said thousands of crores of dues of farmers are still pending across the country and Punjab alone has dues of over Rs 306.59 crore.
'I would like to draw your kind attention towards the huge amount of arrears that are owed by sugarcane mill operators to sugarcane farmers for years...
'I kindly request you to look into the matter at the earliest to ensure the arrears due to the farmers are paid in a timely manner,' Bajwa wrote in his letter to the prime minister.
The sugar mills are bound to make cane payments within 14 days of purchase of cane, according to Sugarcane Control Order-1966 and Sugarcane Purchase and Supply Regulation Act-1957, otherwise they will have to make payments along with interest.
'But it is a matter of great concern that farmers have to beg and wait for years to be paid their dues,' he said, adding that the farmers must receive payments within a specific time frame if there is to be any impetus for crop diversification.
'Mill operators that have unpaid dues for a year or more should be banned from operating in the market. I urge the government to also look into fiscal measures or budgetary provisions that can be used to clear the dues of the farmers in a timely fashion and recover the same from the erring mill operators,' Bajwa suggested in his letter. PTI SKC TDS TDS CK