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Meerut: Lok Sabha election is around the corner, and sugarcane arrears have become the political issue in Uttar Pradesh. While kicking off election campaign in Meerut, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured to sugarcane farmers that their arrears would be paid. According to a media report, after PM Modi spoke about cane issue, the state would clear half the pending arrears of Rs 10,000 crore in the western part by April 5.
Sanjay R Bhoosreddy, principal secretary to the UP government, talking to a leading website said that the arrears could be down to Rs 4,500 crore-Rs 5,000 crores by April 5, and by the end of the present season in June, whole dues will be cleared.
Reports say that according to data compiled by the Cane Commissioner’s Office in Lucknow, as on March 22, the state’s sugar mills have bought cane worth Rs 24,888.65 crore during the current 2018-19 crushing season (October-September) at the state government’s fixed (“advised”) price of Rs 315 per quintal for normal and Rs 325 per quintal for early-maturing varieties.
The reports said that they were to pay Rs 22,175.21 crore within the stipulated 14-day period of taking cane delivery. But the actual payments have been only Rs 12,339.04 crore, translating into arrears of Rs 9,836.17 crore. Adding the dues of Rs 238.81 crore from the previous 2017-18 season takes the total to Rs 10,074.98 crore.
Of the Rs 10,074.98 crore, over 45 per cent is due from mills in Meerut, Baghpat, Kairana, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor and Saharanpur, where voting is to be held on April 11.
(With agency inputs)
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