Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has assured cane farmers in the state, to decide soon on their demand of sugarcane price hike.
    
It was stated by Bhartiya Kisan Union (Lakhowal) President Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, who along with a delegation of cane farmers, met Punjab CM who is currently in Delhi and raised a demand of increase in cane price on the lines of neighbouring states.
    
"Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has asked concerned officers to prepare a proposal in this regard (cane prices) and he will take a decision when he comes to Chandigarh," said Lakhowal, who led the delegation.
    
The delegation pointed out to Punjab Chief Minister that if cane prices were increased and ensured its timely payment to farmers, then it would give a boost to crop diversification plan and also lead to increase in cane acreage.
    
Punjab farmers have raised their pitch for hike in sugarcane price after Bhupinder Singh Hooda led Haryana government increased price by Rs 45 per quintal following farmer's protest.
    
Farmers are also demanding matching increase in cane price by Punjab government.
    
At present rate, cane price in Punjab for 2012-13 is Rs 250 per quintal per quintal for early maturing varieties, Rs 240 for mid-maturing varieties and Rs 235 for late maturing varieties.
    
Haryana government last week increased the cane price by Rs 45 per quintal on all varieties for 2012-13 which led to an end of state cane farmer's stir over low rates.
    
The rate of early variety of sugarcane would now be Rs 276 as against the last year's price of Rs 231 per quintal. Similarly the rate of mid variety would be Rs 271 instead of Rs 226 per quintal and that of late variety Rs 266 instead of Rs 221 per quintal.
    
The farmers agitation in Haryana had led to cane crushing at sugarmills coming to a halt after farmers stopped the supply of cane to sugarmills.

(Agencies)

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