Private sugar mills in court against Maharashtra government

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Pune: The private sugar mills in Maharashtra have decided to fight a legal battle with the Maharashtra government for failing to extend subvention owed to them under a central government scheme.

According to West Indian Sugar Mills Association (WISMA), the state government owes total cumulative interest of Rs 550 crore to the mills.

Following the drastic fall in the sugar prices in 2014-15, the central government had come up with a soft loan scheme of Rs 2000 crore for the sugar sector to clear cane dues.

The scheme had seen mills getting the loan at 10 per cent interest for five years. The central government was to pay the interest for the first year, and the state government was to settle it for the next four years.

According to a news report published in a leading news website, Bhairavnath Thombare, president of WISMA said, “Citing the Bombay High Court judgment of 2010, the government has refused to extend the scheme to private mills. The judgment was regarding establishment of new sugar mills and should not be linked to the soft loan scheme. The central government resolution has included both private, and co-operative mills and state government cannot exclude private mills from the scheme.”

“If the private mills were debarred from the scheme, why did the original GR refer to that?” he asked. The matter has been dragged into the court.

According to Thombare, the issue of mills selling sugar under minimum selling price has come under control.

The sugar mills in the state owe around Rs 5000 crore to the cane farmers, and millers are under pressure to clear the dues.

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