Punjab Govt to recover Rs 223.75 crores from Pvt Sugar Mills against 2015-16 season payment to cane farmers

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Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], July 15 (ANI): The Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday approved the recovery of Rs 223.75 crores paid to cane growers on behalf of private sugar mills for the crushing year 2015-16.

The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh through video conferencing.

During the crushing year 2014-15, sugar mills in Punjab were facing a cash crunch, leading to the delay in the start of the crushing season. This resulted in a low sugar rate in the market, which subsequently lead to delay in payments of cane farmers by the mills. Taking the woes of farmers into consideration, the state government had to step in with payment to the growers on behalf of the sugar mills, said Punjab government in a statement.

The decision to recover that amount comes in the wake of the recommendations of the high powered committee constituted under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary to the Government of Punjab on November 13, 2017, in compliance with the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The committee after hearing the representatives of the private sugar mills observed that Rs 50 per quintal was given as temporary support, in a bid to alleviate the distress of the farmers. Since the basic principle behind the support was the low price of sugar in the market, once the average price had increased past Rs 3,000 per quintal, there was reason enough to recover the earlier amount from the mills, said the committee in its report submitted on April 11, 2018. (ANI)

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