Sugarcane farmers await Rs 108-crore dues

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Ambala: Sugarcane farmers in Ambala, Punjab, are up in arms because since long they are awaiting for their cane dues to be cleared. Private sugar mill in Naraingarh owes Rs 108 crore to the cane growers.

The rule mandates that cane amount should be deposited to the farmers’ bank accounts within 14 days after the sugarcane harvest is handed over to the factory owners, but miller failed to do so. Farmers have been waiting for amount from almost four months.

According to reports, 5,795 farmers are awaiting Rs 107.89 crore from Naraingarh Sugar Mill for the 2018-19 season.

Farmers in the district sold 61.24 lakh quintals of sugarcane to the sugar mill in the current season till April 30, of which sugar mill was due to pay Rs 206.13 crore according to state-advised price (SAP). Out of the total pending amount, mill paid Rs 98.24 crore, whereas still, it owes Rs 107.89 crore to farmers till April 30.

Following the mounting cane arrears, Naraingarh Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Aditi Sharma has urged the mill management to pay at least Rs1 crore daily to clear the arrears of farmers.

Sugar mill management has assured SDM that in the coming days cane arrears will be cleared.

“We are committed to help farmers and ensure that their dues are cleared without any further delay,” Aditi said.

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