In a major reprieve to the sugarcane growers across the state, Punjab Chief Minster Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday announced to clear the outstanding arrears of the farmers to the tune of Rs 148. 50 crore for the crushing season 2013-14, positively within a week.
Badal has asked the Chief Secretary and Financial Commissioner Finance to ensure the instant payment of Sugarcane in future to the farmers as in the case of wheat and paddy.
It may be recalled that out of Rs 464 crore on account of the total cost of sugarcane purchased by the state Cooperative Mills, Rs 250.50 crore had already been cleared by these mills and Rs 38 crore had been paid by the state government from its treasury besides Rs 27 crore by the State Cooperative Bank under Government of India’s (GoI) interest free loan scheme of NABARD. Now the balance amount of Rs 148. 50 crore would be cleared by the state government within a week on the directive of Chief Minister.
Likewise, in another significant decision the Chief Minister also ordered the Social Security and Welfare departments to clear all the pending payments on account of financial assistance under the various social security and welfare schemes. He also asked the Secretaries of these departments to ensure the prompt release of the said arrears to the beneficiaries.