Sugar mills owe the farmers practically Rs 13,000 crore as on September 11 for the crop procured through the 2019-20 season that began October final yr, the Parliament was knowledgeable on Tuesday.
- Last Updated: September 16, 2020, 6:40 PM IST
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Farmers from states like Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh amongst others have been protesting since previous a number of days over two main points. Firstly, to precise their anger in opposition to the three agricultural ordinances, which as per some farmer leaders, will corporatise the sector and cripple the farmers who’re already underneath money owed. Secondly, the farmers, notably from Uttar Pradesh, are demanding the clearance of pending sugarcane dues.
Minister of State for Food and Consumer Affairs, Danve Raosaheb Dadarao, revealed the official quantity of the sugarcane dues which remained pending in throughout 16 States and Union Territories. Sugar mills owe the farmers practically Rs 13,000 crore as on September 11 for the crop procured through the 2019-20 season that began October final yr, the Parliament was knowledgeable on Tuesday.
The worst hit have been the farmers of Uttar Pradesh, whose dues alone have been estimated to be Rs 10,000 crore. The authorities in its reply stated that the farmers of Uttar Pradesh weren’t owed something final yr however the debt inside one yr alone climbed to this staggering quantity. The farmers of Gujarat have been the following worst hit with Rs 863 crore in unpaid dues.
“Out of total cane dues payable of Rs 75,585 crore for sugar season 2019-20 as on September 11, 2020, about Rs 62,591 crore have been paid to the sugarcane farmers and only Rs 12,994 crores cane dues are yet to be paid,” Dadarao stated in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
Earlier this yr, an affiliation of sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh wrote to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath looking for a money subsidy bailout from the state authorities to allow them to pay their excellent dues.
In its response on Tuesday, the federal government said that the unpaid dues to sugarcane farmers in 2016-17 and earlier years was Rs 1,899 crore, in 2017-18 it decreased to Rs 242 crore and nearly doubled within the following yr to Rs 548 crore. Between final yr and the present monetary yr it grew nearly 24 instances.
In the previous few days, the protests by sugarcane farmers have been reported from Amritsar, Muzaffarnagar, Hoshiarpur and elements of Rajasthan.
To clarify why dues of sugarcane farmers have been mounting, the federal government within the Parliament said, “Payment of cane price to sugarcane farmers by the sugar mills is a continuous process. However, on account of surplus sugar production during the previous sugar seasons, the sugar prices remained depressed which adversely affected the liquidity of the sugar mills resulting in accumulation of cane price arrears of the farmers.”
The authorities additional stated that it had taken a number of measures to allow sugar mill house owners to clear the arrears of farmers. “The central government has taken various measures in past three sugar seasons viz extended assistance to sugar mills to facilitate the export of sugar; extended assistance to mills for maintaining buffer stocks; extended soft loans to sugar mills through banks to clear cane price dues; and fixed minimum selling price of sugar.” However, the federal government has introduced no instant bailout plan that might assist the farmers get their dues instantly.