Expressing grief over the death of a sugarcane farmer here on Wednesday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the government is not responsible for the unfortunate incident.
He told reporters that the incident has pained him much.
Blaming the previous BJP government for the present crisis, he said: “When the price of sugar in the market stood between Rs 3,400 and Rs 3,600 per tonne, the previous government had paid farmers only Rs 2,400 per tonne sugarcane. Whereas our government has fixed the MSP at Rs 2,650 per tonne when the market price is about Rs 2,600-2,650.”
He said the BJP, which was responsible for killing two farmers in police firing when they were on agitation demanding proper supply of fertiliser, has no moral right to term the government ‘anti-farmer’.
Informing that he was preparing to announce the enhanced procurement price for the benefit of the growers, he said: “I am waiting for the end of the debate initiated in both the Houses under Rule 69.”
He also listed out several other measures to protect the interests of various other farmers. “Thanks to the special efforts of the state government, the total arrears of `780 crore arrears to surgarcane growers from the factories was cleared in the last six months. Only about `31 crore to be paid to the farmers,” he added.
Denying the opposition’s allegations that the government is anti-farmer, he said the government has released Rs 36 crore as working capital to Pandavapura, Bhramavara and Mysugar factories.
Denying that there is conflict of interest in announcing the procurement price, he warned that the government would not hesitate to prosecute the sugar factories, if found guilty in complying with the orders of the Sugarcane Control Board in paying the price fixed by the Board.