With both farmers and sugar factory owners sticking to their stand on the issue of increasing the procurement price of sugarcane, the State government is likely to announce a new support price to help the farmers on Wednesday.
According to official sources, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is upset with the protest being staged by the farmers outside the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha on the issue. The Opposition parties are also targeting the government in both Houses on the issue.
He is learnt to have decided to announce the new support price and end the impasse.
At present, the sugarcane price stands at Rs 2,500 per tonne. The new support price may be Rs 50 or 100 more than this, it is learnt. Siddaramaiah told reporters after the meeting that the government is committed to protect the interests of the farmers.
He also hinted to take strong action against the sugar factories which fail to comply with the Sugar Control Board’s order. However, he refused to reveal the details.
Meanwhile, Sugar Minister Prakash Hukkeri said the sugar factories have already started crushing by procuring sugarcane from the farmers.
“Already more than 30 lakh tonnes of sugarcane have been crushed, out of about 320 lakh tonnes” Hukkeri said.
About the farmers who are staging an agitation on the issue, he said, “They are apprehensive that sugar factories will not pay the price fixed by the Sugar Control Board (Rs 2,500 per tonne).”
This price was fixed by the board after considering the average price of sugar (per kg) in the market in the last six months, Hukkeri explained.