Mumbai: Despite the sugar crushing season having got over nearly a fortnight ago, almost all sugar mills have failed to clear farmers’ dues till now. According to one primary estimate, sugar mills across the state owe farmers about Rs 1913 crore. The mills are supposed to clear payments on the basis of fair and remunerative price (FRP). The government is taking stock of the situation, said marketing minister Subhash Deshmukh.
With the sugar crushing season having started on November 1, 2017, nearly 188 sugar mills started crushing from that date. As per estimates, these sugar mills have crushed 9 crore 52 lakh 47 thousand tonnes of sugarcane. Of which, 10 crore 70 lakh 88 thousand quintal sugar has been produced by these mills this year. As per the FRP declared by the state government, the total price of this sugar goes into Rs 20 thousand 938 crore, of which, sugar mills have paid almost Rs 19 thousand 459 crore to farmers till date. Still, Rs 1913 crore is yet to be paid to farmers.
As per data from the sugar corporation, the highest unpaid amount is in the Pune division. The mills in this division are yet to pay Rs 842 crore. Whereas the second highest unpaid amount comes from the Kolhapur division at Rs 506 crore.
Former minister Harshawardhan Patil said, “The sugar mill bodies are well aware about the payment. But everyone knows the crisis this industry is facing. Our delegation will meet the PM and others to find a way out. The international market of polished sugar is down. At the same time, the domestic market is also down and production this year is one of the highest. So, industry will be able to find a way out only with the help of the state and central governments.”
“We will see that the farmers’ rightful money will be given to them as early as possible,” he assured.