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Announce pongal gift scheme to save farmers: Ramadoss urges TN govt

Announce pongal gift scheme to save farmers: Ramadoss urges TN govt

(L) PMK founder S Ramadoss, 

CHENNAI: As Pongal festival is only a few days away, PMK founder S Ramadoss urged the state government to make an announcement regarding Pongal gifts so as to help sugarcane farmers.

"The delay on the part of the government raised concerns among the citizens who depend on pongal gifts and sugarcane farmers. For the past few years, 1kg rice, 1kg sugar, one full sugarcane and Rs. 1,000 has been given to family card holders. Announcement to give pongal gifts would be made one month before the festival and distribution would commence in the first week of January," Ramadoss said in a statement.

He recalled that sugarcane was omitted while distributing pongal gifts last year. Following protests by farmers, sugarcane was included. Despite this, farmers faced losses owing to impossible conditions, he said.

"Farmers are in doubt whether the pongal gift would be implemented or not. Farmers are cultivating sugarcane owing to the pongal gift scheme. Farmers in Cuddalore, Villupuram, Nagapattinam, Mayiladuthurai, Salem, Dharmapuri and Madurai have cultivated sugarcane. The produce is double the actual demand in the market. If sugarcane is not procured for pongal gifts, a huge amount of sugarcane will go to waste. Prices in the outside market will come down if the government fails to procure," he warned.

Ramadoss urged the government to announce the pongal gift scheme immediately by including sugarcane.

"Sugarcane should be procured without conditions on the length of the canes and Rs. 50 should be provided per cane," he demanded.

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