The Cooperation Minister, Punjab, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa today called on the Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh here and put forward the demand of Rs. 876.43 crore for the sugarcane farmers of Punjab regarding which the Union Minister said that it has been decided to give a package of Rs. 8000 crore to the sugarcane farmers across the country and the demand of farmers from Punjab would be sympathetically considered .During the meeting at Krishi Bhawan, S. Randhawa emphatically raised other issues also concerning the farming sector of Punjab.In a statement here today, S. Randhawa said that during the meeting, he handed over a memorandum to the Union Minister regarding giving a package of Rs. 876.43 crore to the sugarcane farmers from Punjab which included the amount of Rs. 298.43 for the cooperative sugar mills of Punjab and Rs. 578 crore for the 7 private sugar mills of the State. The Cooperation Minister also said that the Union Minister while replying to his demand informed him that the Union Cabinet has given the green signal to Rs. 8000 crore package for the sugarcane farmers of the country which in turn would benefit Punjab farmers too.Details of how much amount Punjab would get and what would be the guidelines of the package are awaited from GOI .
Divulging more, S. Randhawa said that he also took up the issue of releasing share of the Union Government pertaining to the computerization of entire 3367 primary cooperative societies of Punjab. Handing over the D.O. letter in this regard to the Union Minister, S. Randhawa revealed that it would cost Rs. 3 lakh per society and the project in totality would cost Rs. 106 crore. As per the ratio of 60:35:05, Punjab has made arrangements for contributing its share of 35 percent which comes to Rs. 37 crore. In the budget of the present year a sum of Rs. 18.50 crore has been kept and the provision for the same amount has been kept for next year also. Now, the share of Union Government amounting to Rs. 64 crore as per its 60 percent contribution is due.S. Randhawa further disclosed that the Union Minister assured him that the issue would be taken up in the next week's meeting of Union Cabinet and the demand would be fulfilled soon.The Cooperation Minister, Punjab profusely thanked the Union Government for accepting the above mentioned demands and also took up with the Union Minister the issue of the dairy farmers and demanded that on the pattern of crops, the Minimum Prices for milk must also be fixed so as to avoid losses to the dairy farmers in case the prices come down.On the occasion, MD Markfed Mr. Rahul Tewari, MD Milkfed Mr. Manjit Singh Brar and MD Punjab State Cooperative Bank Mr. S.D. Batish were also present.