Lucknow, Jun 10 (PTI) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday said a total of Rs 2,13,400 crore have been paid to sugarcane farmers in the state through direct benefit transfer (DBT) in the last five years.
"Between 2017 and 2023, sugarcane prices worth Rs 2,13,400 crore have been paid to farmers through DBT," the CM said while speaking at the certificate distribution ceremony for the winners of the State Sugarcane Production Competitions.
Adityanath said during the previous governments payments to sugarcane farmers used to remain pending for years but now it is being done within a week.
"Prior to six years, sugarcane farmers in the state used to face difficulties in obtaining receipts because of discrepancies in the weighing of sugarcane as well as theft of their receipts, which often led to protests by the farmers.
"Besides, the untimely closure of sugar mills had caused inconvenience to the farmers. For years, payment of sugarcane price to the farmers was pending but now it is being done within a week," the CM was quoted as having said in an official release.
Speaking about the present situation, the CM said that steps were taken on a mission mode to settle the pending payments for sugarcane from 2010 to 2017, when the BJP government took over.
The owners of sugar mills have requested permission to produce ethanol in order to regulate the pending payments to farmers on time, he said.
Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi for various reforms for the farmers, he said with the PM's approval sugar mills in the state are now producing ethanol along with sugar.
As a result of this, Uttar Pradesh has become number one in the country in terms of production of sugarcane, sugar and ethanol production as well as in setting up of 'khandsari' units, he said.
The chief minister also inaugurated online the newly constructed buildings of 25 cooperative sugarcane and sugar mill committees.
During the programme, Adityanath said that there are farmers who are achieving the impossible by yielding 2,640 quintals of sugarcane per hectare.
Additionally, there are 3,171 cooperative women self-help groups in the state, with over 59,000 women working and they are contributing to strengthening the state's economy by collaborating with 60 lakhs sugarcane farmers.
The chief minister expressed hope that all 118 sugar mills in the state will adopt the practice of paying sugarcane price to the farmers within ten days.
Speaking about the achievements of the Sugarcane Department, he said that it has restarted four previously closed sugar mills, and two new sugar mills have been established.
"Chaudhary Charan Singh was called the 'messiah' of farmers. He had spoken about the revival of the Chhaprauli sugar mill in the 1980s, but successive governments came and went without thinking about the farmers. Our government has initiated the establishment of a new sugar mill in Chhaprauli," he added.