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Sugarcane Farmers Demands Pending Payment; Threaten to Protest From February 14

Farmers from Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Charuni, Ganna Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, and Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Shaheed Bhagat Singh assembled outside the sugar mill and sat in protest in front of the gate, demanding payment for unpaid bills.

Ayushi Raina
Farmers assembled outside the sugar mill and sat in protest in front of the gate, demanding payment for unpaid bills
Farmers assembled outside the sugar mill and sat in protest in front of the gate, demanding payment for unpaid bills

On Monday, sugarcane farmers from the Ambala region protested outside Naraingarh Sugar Mill in Banondi village, Shahzadpur block, Ambala district seeking pending payment of around Rs.71 crore for the present crushing season 2021-22. 

Farmers from Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Charuni, Ganna Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, and Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Shaheed Bhagat Singh assembled outside the sugar mill and sat in protest in front of the gate, demanding payment for unpaid bills. 

Naraingarh Sugar Mill's sub-division magistrate (SDM)-cum-chief executive officer (CEO) Neeraj arrived at the protest site and informed the farmers that the sugar mill is unable to clear the payment on time until the sugar get old owing to poor performance in the previous season 2020-21. 

"The sugar mill started its operation for the 2021-22 season on November 23, 2021, and it presently has the pending payment for the last two months of about Rs.71 crore," said BKU Charuni Ambala district president Malkiat Singh Sahibpura. At the protest meeting, we gave time to the government till February 13 to clear the payment; else, the farmers will stage a protest outside the Naraingarh SDM office from February 14 onwards." 

According to SDM Neeraj, the farmers demanded assurances that their payments will be made within 14 days. "Since we cleared Rs.67 crore of payment from last year during this crushing season using mill funds, it is extremely likely that some payment for sugarcane procured this season will remain pending." It is not possible for us to clear all the payments for this season in this year only from the mills fund," said SDM Neerja .

According to the SDM, the Naraingarh Sugar Mill has procured sugarcane worth nearly Rs.89 crore from farmers this year and the payment of Rs.18 crore released for the current season and Rs.71 crore pending. 

In response to a query, SDM Neeraj stated, “This sugar mill already owes the government over Rs.120 crore in pending loans, and it would be the government's decision to resolve this issue.  We have gotten no information from the government regarding the payment of the sugarcane thus yet." 

Whether you intend to make efforts to speak with government or senior officials about outstanding farmer payments, Neeraj, SDM, stated, "As of now, we do not believe so. It is a private mill and its management must release the payment to farmers. Although the government is very well aware that the financial condition of this mill is not very good. Whatever decision is taken will be told to media." 

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