he decision is likely to bring some relief to sugarcane farmers in poll-bound Karnataka, where Assembly polls are due on May 12.
New Delhi: With Assembly elections in Karnataka just over a week away, the Centre on Wednesday decided to pay off arrears worth Rs 1,540 crores to sugarcane farmers across the country to clear less than a tenth of the total Rs 20,000 crores outstanding amount sugar mills owe to them.
The move, cleared by the Union Cabinet, is clearly aimed at preventing an agrarian crisis which is gradually reaching boiling point in major sugar-producing states like Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra due to the non-payment of dues.
The decision is likely to bring some relief to sugarcane farmers in poll-bound Karnataka, where Assembly polls are due on May 12.
It may be recalled that sugarcane farmers have been threatening to launch a stir over unpaid dues by ailing sugarcane mills, specially in Uttar Pradesh, where the dues amount to around Rs 8,000 crores. The Centre has therefore decided to directly pay out at least a part of the dues to farmers on behalf of the mills.
Sugarcane farmers who haven’t been paid the full sum will get Rs 5.50 per quintal (of cane crushed) directly in their bank accounts from the Centre, which wants to prevent a crisis developing in sugar-producing states.