The Punjab cabinet on Monday hiked the state advisory price (SAP) of sugarcane by Rs 10 a quintal.
The cabinet decided to increase SAP from Rs 300 to Rs 310 for the early variety, Rs 290 to Rs 300 for the mid-variety and Rs 285 to Rs 295 per quintal for the late variety of sugarcane. The hike, in line with the increase given by Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, is estimated to put an additional burden of Rs 20 crore on the state exchequer.
SAP is fixed by the state governments before every crushing season, but is not mandatory support price. The fair and remunerative price (FRP) is fixed by the centre, which is Rs 230 per quintal. SAP can’t be lower than the FRP. State fixes SAP depending on the input cost and expected sugar from the cane.
A total of 675 lakh quintals of sugarcane is expected to arrive in the 16 sugar mills, including nine in cooperative and seven in the private sector, during the current crushing season.
The cabinet decision followed talks between the cabinet sub-committee headed by finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal and representatives of sugarcane grower unions and associations across the state, who met at Kisan Bhawan here on Monday.
BILL TO REGULARISE PROPERTIES IN AMRITSAR’S WALLED CITY
The cabinet okayed placement of the Amritsar Walled City (Recognition of Usage) Ordinance, 2017, before the Vidhan Sabha for enactment. It provides for the applicants to submit details of violations in the walled city of Amritsar for one-time settlement by January 31, 2018.
BILL TO SET UP COMMISSION FOR FARMERS’ EMPOWERMENT
The cabinet also decided to move a bill in the current session of the state assembly to set up a five-member commission for framing a policy to empower and grant legal rights to farmers. The commission, to be headed by a nominated chairperson who will hold the rank of a cabinet minister, will also be tasked with planning agriculture policies at district and block level. The commission would have powers to frame agriculture policies and other related matters referred to by the state government and will get a corpus fund of Rs 25 crore initially and Rs 5 crore for next five years as grant to be given by the state government.
BILL ON MRSPTU COLLEGE AFFILIATION
The cabinet also gave nod to introducing a bill in the Vidhan Sabha to amend Sections 5 and 20 of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Technical University (MRSPTU) Act, to give MRSPTU colleges a one-time choice to choose their affiliation. Following the amendment, the colleges which come under the territorial jurisdiction of the MRSPTU would be able to choose between MRSPTU and IK Gujral PTU as per their discretion. However, the new colleges to be set up in future would be bound for affiliation as per territorial jurisdiction of MRSPTU, Bathinda, and IK Gujral Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar.
The Cabinet has also decided to bring in a draft “Punjab State Council for Agricultural Education Act 2017” bill in the Vidhan Sabha session for the establishment of Punjab State Council for Agricultural Education.
(The story has been updated)