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The Central Government has announced a package of Rs.7000 crores for the Sugar Industry, is it really a worth and beneficial to the farmers ! On the issue a press conference was organized by the Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangahthan (RKMS). Speaking on the occasion, Shri V M Singh, Convenor emphasized that the reality is that the Government has taken a decision to make a buffer stock of sugar of 30 lac MT. Siting an example he further added that Malakpur Sugarmill in Baraut of Bagpat District has yet to pay its last year`s dues (price).

The process of payment of the carrying cost would take 3 to 4 months. On the carrying cost available to a sugarmill across the country on account of this is only Rs.1175 crores. Even if the entire payment is used for cane dues, at an average it would give liquidity of Rs. 2 Crores per mill as against their average dues of about 50 Crores. Many mills owe the farmers over Rs.200 Crores.

The cane dues of the country are about Rs.22,000 crores while UP alone has dues of over Rs.12000 crore. Actually, the crises due to low price of sugar has arisen due to implementation of Rangarajan Report which while decontrolling sugar abolished the concept of release order. Though the Government has taken control of the sugar to be released in the market, the situation has improved. The mill owners insisted on de-control of the rlease orders while the farmers opposed it.

RKMS raised the question that the fall in sugar prices can never be the criteria for non-payment of the cane dues. When the sugar prices were high, did the mill owners make timely payment?

Referring the year 2007-08, the sugar price shot up from Rs.16/- per Kg to Rs.40/- per Kg , did the Mill Owners share their profits with the Farmers or did they make timely payments? They multiplied their units from 35 to 95. The mill owners are used to diverting the funds to other business. Quoting that the funds were diverted to Energy Plants in Jharkand and Lalitpur by Modi and Bajaj of UP.

Suggesting the way out RKMS referred the Hon`ble High Court Orders dated 9th March 2017 that the Hon`ble Supreme Court upheld the orders. However, once the interest @15 percent is to be paid and cannot be waived at the whims and fancies of the State Government/Cane Commissioner, the mills will not hold the payment as they get loans@10-11 percent per annum. Untill the statutory provision to pay interest on delayed payment is invoked, the payment crisis will continue till eternity,

Chander Mohan

Krishi Jagran/New Delhi

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