TamilNadu: PMK leader urges govt to announce pongal gifts to help sugarcane farmers

Chennai: As the Pongal festival approaches, PMK founder S Ramadoss has called upon the state government to expedite the announcement of Pongal gifts, particularly to benefit sugarcane farmers, reported Dtnext.

Expressing concern over the government’s delay, Ramadoss highlighted the anxieties among citizens reliant on Pongal gifts and the sugarcane farming community. Traditionally, family cardholders have received 1kg of rice, 1kg of sugar, a full sugarcane, and Rs. 1,000 as part of the Pongal gift package. Ramadoss emphasized that the customary announcement of these gifts, scheduled a month before the festival, with distribution commencing in the first week of January, is eagerly anticipated.

Recalling an incident from the previous year when sugarcane was initially omitted from the Pongal gift distribution, Ramadoss noted that protests by farmers led to its eventual inclusion. Despite this, farmers faced losses due to challenging circumstances.

Expressing doubt among farmers regarding the implementation of the Pongal gift scheme this year, Ramadoss underscored the importance of the initiative for sugarcane cultivation. He highlighted that farmers in various regions, including Cuddalore, Villupuram, Nagapattinam, Mayiladuthurai, Salem, Dharmapuri, and Madurai, have actively cultivated sugarcane, resulting in a surplus in the market. The absence of sugarcane procurement for Pongal gifts could lead to substantial wastage, coupled with a potential drop in market prices.

Ramadoss urged the government to announce the pongal gift scheme immediately by including sugarcane. He specifically called for the procurement of sugarcane without imposing conditions on the length of the canes and demanded a compensation of Rs. 50 per cane.


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