44 sugar mills may face action over sugarcane dues

The Maharashtra state government has threatened 44 sugar mills of action as they had not paid 80% of the Fair and Remunerative Price to the cane growers as per the norms. State sugar commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad said that he has asked the mills to abide by the Sugar Price (Control) Order 2018.

“The mills have been asked to fix a date to pay farmers their dues and share details about how they will pay whether by exports, soft loan or by selling sugar. We will take action if they fail to do so,” he said.

Revenue recovery certificates will be issued to the mills and they may face compulsory seizure of sugar stocks by collectors if fail to give a date for payment of remaining dues.

Only 156 out of 200 mills have paid 80 per cent of the FRP to farmers. The cane arrears have crossed over 20000 crore rupees in February. Of this, 4000 crore rupees is due to farmers in Maharashtra.

Factory owners have expressed helplessness in paying the arrears owing to the fall in the price of sugar and surplus sugar stock.

The sops given by the government through various relief packages have helped the millers in some way to reduce these arrears for the time being.

Sugar commissioner’s office asked millers to ensure that they should not sell sugar below the Minimum selling price (MSP) fixed by the central government. But millers are forced to sell it below MSP to clear the cane dues.

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