Dark Diwali for sugarcane farmers

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Pune: Along with Diwali, sugar season 2019-2020 is round the corner, but mills are yet to clear the sugarcane dues. Sugar mills across India, majorly in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, owe crores of rupees to sugarcane farmers. With the pending dues, it seems this Diwali for cane growers will be faded.

Speaking about Uttar Pradesh, sugar mill are yet to pay around 4,700 crore rupees in spite of multiple warning from the state government. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s warning to the sugar mills is yielding results with the very slow pace. The UP government had set a deadline of October 31 to pay all the arrears of sugarcane farmers. Recently, the Allahabad High Court had directed the Uttar Pradesh government to clear the cane dues with 15 per cent interest on it within a month. The court issued the order after hearing a petition filed by farmers from Uttar Pradesh. The deadline of October 15 set by High Court to clear pending sugarcane dues is approaching, but still the mills are yet to pay the arrears.

According to the reports, in Maharashtra, mills owe around 397 crore dues out of out total Rs 23,293.82 crore to the cane growers. According to the reports, in the state 139 mills paid 100 per cent FRP, whereas 45 mills cleared 80-99 per cent FRP. 8 mills paid 60-79 per cent FRP and 3 mills made payments below 59 per cent. Sugar mills may face difficulty in getting a crushing license. To ensure the early payment for sugarcane farmers, the Maharashtra government has decided that sugar mills would be issued crushing licences only if they agree to pay FRP to cane growers within 14 days.

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