Phagwara, (Punjab): Sugarcane farmers in Phagwara, continued their indefinite protest on Thursday, demanding payment of arrears of Rs 41.72 crore from the Phagwara Sugar Mill.
The protest has forced the mill to shut down, and farmers have vowed not to let it run for crushing operations this season until their arrears are paid.
During a gathering held in Mohali, Agriculture Minister Gurmeet Singh Khudian met with farmer representatives. They made their stance clear – the mill will not commence crushing operations this season until outstanding dues of Rs 41.72 crore, along with interest, are settled with the farmers.
According to the news report published in The Tribune, Rana Inder Partap Singh, the Managing Director of the mill, expressed his inability to clear the pending dues. However, the minister said that the government could bring in new investors to operate the mill once the arrears are paid to the cane growers. This development was confirmed by Phagwara SDM Jai Inder Singh and BKU leader Satnam Singh Sahni.
Sahni explained that the farmers have been protesting due to unpaid arrears for the past four years. Manjit Singh Rai, the head of BKU (Doaba), reiterated that protest would continue until the outstanding payments are made.