Phagwara, September 28
The indefinite dharna of sugarcane growers under the banner of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Doaba) continued on second day today. Consequently, the Phagwara Sugar Mill wore a deserted look with the facility being shut.
In a high-level meeting conducted by Agriculture Minister Gurmeet Singh Khudian in Mohali today, farmer leaders made it clear they would not let the mill run for crushing operations this season until the arrears of Rs 41.72 crore with interest were paid to farmers.
Govt may rope in investors for bailout
- In a meeting with farmers in Mohali on Thursday, Phagwara Sugar Mill MD Rana Inder Partap Singh expressed his helplessness to pay the arrears amounting to Rs 42 crore to farmers
- Agriculture Minister Gurmeet Singh Khudian said the government could rope in investors to run the sugar mill after paying the arrears to sugarcane farmers
Mill MD Rana Inder Partap Singh expressed his helplessness to pay the arrears. However the minister said the government could bring new investors to run the mill after paying the arrears to cane growers. Phagwara SDM Jai Inder Singh and BKU leader Satnam Singh Sahni confirmed the development.
Sahni said the farmers were protesting over the non-payment of arrears for the past four years. BKU (Doaba) chief Manjit Singh Rai said the dharna would continue as long as the pending arrears were not released. The SDM, who is also the Convener of the Price Fixation Committee, said in order to attach the properties of the former mill owners — Jarnail Singh Wahid, Jaswinder Bains and Sukhbir Sandhar — PWD officials had been asked to assess the value of their assets. Sahni said the indefinite dharna would continue until arrears were paid.
The Assistant Cane Commissioner, Punjab; Kapurthala DC Captain Karnail Singh; Phagwara ADC Amit Kumar Panchal, and Tehsildar Baljinder Singh, among others, were also present in the meeting.
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