Sugar mills in Maharashtra owe Rs 996 crore to sugarcane farmers

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Pune: According to the data released by the Maharashtra Sugar Commissionerate, sugar mills in the state have paid 96 per cent of the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP), and sugarcane arrears stand at Rs 996.12 crore from the current season of 2018-19 and Rs 243.83 crore from the previous season.

The Maharashtra sugar commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad has slapped Revenue and Recovery Code (RRC) orders to 74 sugar mills that have failed to pay an FRP to farmers and warned of seizure action.

114 sugar mills have paid 100 per cent FRP, whereas 59 factories deposited 80 to 99 per cent FRP in a farmers bank account. 16 sugar mills paid 60 to 79 per cent cane arrears, and 6 factories cleared 0 to 59 per cent cane dues.

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 they fail to adhere to the timeline. Millers have been saying that excess sugar production and depressed domestic sugar prices have led to an accumulation of cane price arrears.

A total of 195 factories participated in the operation this season. According to the Sugar Commisisonerate report, the factories have crushed 951.79 lakh tonnes of sugarcane to produce 107.19 lakh tonnes of sugar at a recovery rate of 11.26 per cent.

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