Friday 2 October 2020

Sugarcane Farmers waiting for their arrears


The current sugar has ended on September 30, but the arrears of sugarcane growers of the country so far remain at about 15,000 crore rupees at the sugar mills. Uttar Pradesh farmers have the highest outstanding of Rs 9,500 crore

These figures of sugarcane arrears have been provided by the Union Food Ministry. A senior Food Ministry official said that sugar mills have not yet paid about Rs 12,000 crore of sugarcane price for the sugar production marketing year 2019-20 (October-September) while adding last year's arrears across the country Farmers owe about Rs 15,000 crore to the sugar mills.

He said that about 9,500 crore rupees of sugarcane are owed to the maximum farmers of Uttar Pradesh. According to the sugar industry association Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), due to the cash crunch, sugar mills are unable to pay the dues of farmers, while this year India has exported a record sugar.

In the current season 2019-20, the sugar mills are being subsidized at the rate of Rs 10,448 per tonne by the government on the quota for export of 6 million tonnes of sugar fixed under MAEQ. ISMA Director General Avinash Verma recently said that the Government of India has to pay more than Rs 8,000 crore to sugar mills in the form of sugar export grant and buffer stock grant and other grants. But due to non-payment, farmers are facing difficulty in paying cane arrears.

The Food Ministry official said that as the budget becomes available, the dues of the grant amount are being paid by the Ministry. He said there could be some more payments during the quarter starting October 1. On the other hand, farmers in Uttar Pradesh have approached the state government for payment of sugarcane arrears. Indian Farmers Union spokesman Rakesh Tikait said that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has assured farmers to pay arrears before the cane crushing starts in the next season.

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