Sugar mills in Maharashtra asked to pay interest on delayed payment or face seizure action

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Pune: Sugar commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad has asked the sugar mills to pay 15 per cent interest on the delayed FRP payment to the sugarcane farmers. Gaikwad set 30 days deadline for the mills to submit their calculation of individual farmer dues. The commissioner asked mills to pay interest within three months. In case of non-payment of dues, mills will face the seizure action.

The case is not just in Maharashtra, even in Uttar Pradesh sugar mills were asked to pay interest on pending arrears. 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 Bench of Justice S K Gupta and Justice S S Shamshery passed the order on a plea filed by Jaypal Singh and another sugarcane farmers.

The Sugarcane Control Order of 1966 mandates payment of the FRP to the growers within 14 days of delivery of cane and 15 per cent interest on it if mill fails to adhere to the timeline. Sugar mill citing depressed sugar prices and scarcity of money as a reason in delay in clearing the sugarcane dues. Sugarcane farmers across India have intensified their protest over pending dues.

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