Despite the sops from the central government for the sugar sector that includes soft loan package of Rs 3,000 crore and an additional package of Rs 500 crore from the state government, the cane arrears of farmers in Uttar Pradesh stand at whopping Rs 9,536 crore.
The UP cane commissioner Sanjay Bhoosreddy had predicted that the arrears would come down to Rs 5,000 crore once the soft loans for 93 mills would be sanctioned, but it continues to increase instead. It happened because inspite of clearing the dues, new cane came for crushing adding new arrears every day.
According to cane commissioner office, 117 private sugar mills and 24 co-operative mills had produced 107.07 lakh tonne of sugar by crushing 932.14 lakh tonne of cane till April 18. The millers have paid Rs 17,905 crore pending arrears, which is 65 per cent of total dues.
According to media reports, 16 private sugar mills have completed their crushing and rest of the mill are likely to end it till the end of May.
Few days ago, raising questions on the earlier governments’ record on clearing sugarcane farmers dues, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said, “We promised to pay the dues of sugarcane farmers and we did that, why could not the previous government do the same?
The CM claimed that the previous governments did not pay the sugarcane dues of six years. “After the formation of the BJP government, we paid Rs 64 thousand crores to the farmers in our two years tenure,” he said.
He assured that sugarcane farmers would be paid this season too.
The sugar sector is facing crisis owning to bumper production, along with reduced domestic demand leading to falling prices.