The mills have paid a total Rs 20,682 crore as sugarcane purchase price to farmers till July this year.
Mumbai: Sugar mills in Maharashtra owe farmers a jaw-dropping Rs 593 crore, revealed an official on Wednesday. The state government is making efforts to persuade sugar mills to clear farmers’ dues. The mills have paid a total Rs 20,682 crore as sugarcane purchase price to farmers till July this year. This is one of the highest payments in the past few years.
State sugar commissioner Sambhaji Kadu Patil said that he had been personally talking to sugar mill owners to clear farmers’ dues, and that action had been taken against some mills which had not complied with government norms for making payments. “This has helped reduce conflict between farmers and mills, and also bring down arrears of Rs 850 crore as on July 18 to rs 593 crore by July end,” said Mr Patil.
The government had earlier notified its decision to fix the ex-factory sugar price at Rs 29 per kg as well as the monthly stock holding limit on mills as part of measures to help the cash-starved industry clear its arrears.
Mr Kadu Patil said, “No producer will sell sugar in the domestic market at a rate below rs 29 per kg, the notification said. If a sugar mill violates the order, it will have to face action.”
“With Rs 29 per kg the minimum price bar, every trader will have to buy sugar at this rate from the mills,” he said.