Sugarcane farmer organisation stages agitation over non-payment of cane dues

 

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Kolhapur: Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathana (SSS) has intensified protests against the sugar mills in Maharashtra. Sangathana alleged that inspite the central government has increased the minimum selling price of sugar from Rs 2,900 to Rs 3100 per quintal, millers are not clearing the Fair And Remunerative Price (FRP). Members of SSS staged a demonstration outside the office of Bidri sugar mill president, KB Patil.

Patil informed the agitators that mill has already deposited Rs 2300, one installment of FRP, in bank accounts of the farmers. And he further assured them that once sugar mill gets the money after selling the surplus stock of sugar then remaining cane arrears will soon be deposited into the farmers’ bank account.

Mill cited its inability to pay the cane arrears as it is not in the financial position to pay the FRP in one installment.

The government has recently increased the MSP of sugar to Rs 31/kg from Rs 29/kg (announced in June 2018), to support the oversupply hit sugar industry. As per report, it will augur well for the mills and is expected to increase their operating profit margins by 6 per cent. According to the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), the hike of MSP will generate additional revenue for the sugar mills and help them in payment of cane price arrears.

ISMA had recently said cane arrears stood at around Rs 20,000 crore at the end of January.

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