Pune: Senior Congress leader and former minister Harshavardhan Patil criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. He said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government announced a relief package for Rs 8,000 crore for the sugar industry, but it would not serve any purpose till farmers actually get the money. Farmers have not got the money from the earlier package till date. Only announcements cannot serve any purpose. Government package is deceptive.”
He was speaking at an interaction organised by Pune Shramik Patrakar Sangh on Friday.
He said, “The Union government has announced a package of Rs 8,000 crore. However, the State government said that it has Rs 4,070 crore package. It showed that Union government package is deceptive and due to which farmers and the sugar industry is suffering.”
He claimed, “The Union government estimated 270 lakh tonnes sugar production. However, sugar production is 321 lakh tonnes. How can the government fail to project sugar production despite the necessary system? There is a possibility of higher production of sugar in the country. But, we are not seeing any steps being taken by the government.”
“People are getting good amount from sugar production. But other agri products’ rates are declining. So, farmers are planting sugar cane. If everyone starts planting sugar cane, it will harm sugar production,” he said.
He added, “The government should export 80 lakh tonnes sugar. They should increase ethanol rates from Rs 40 to Rs 53. Otherwise, farmers will face problems.” Patil alleged, “The Union government imported 21 lakh tonnes sugar. Out of which, they imported 3 lakh tonnes sugar from Pakistan. It is really unfortunate.”