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UP mills owe sugarcane growers Rs 1,460 crore

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Bajaj Hindusthan tops list of defaulters

Harish Damodaran

New Delhi, Oct. 23 Sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh owe farmers a whopping Rs 1,460.21 crore as arrears towards cane payments during the just-concluded 2006-07 crushing season (October-September).

The mills bought Rs 11,010.82 crore worth of cane in the season, against which they have made payments of Rs 9,550.61 crore as on October 18, according to latest data from the Cane Commissioner’s Office at Lucknow. That leaves due of Rs 1,460.21 crore or 13.26 per cent of the total amount payable.

Of the Rs 1,460.21 crore arrears, private mills owe Rs 1,122.11 crore (12.34 per cent), with the corresponding figures being Rs 183.06 crore (14.01 per cent) and Rs 155.04 crore (25.30 per cent) for cooperatives and State Government-owned factories, respectively.

Among individual companies/groups, the larger defaulter is Bajaj Hindusthan. As against a payable sum of Rs 1,870.74 crore, it has so far disbursed Rs 1,539.80 crore, which translates into arrears of Rs 330.94 crore or 17.69 per cent. At No. 2 spot (in absolute terms) is Balrampur Chini, which has paid up Rs 1,004.20 crore out of the total Rs 1,124.70 crore, leaving an outstanding balance of Rs 120.50 crore or 10.71 per cent.

This is followed by the KK Birla Group (dues of Rs 91.12 crore or 14.61 per cent), Dhampur Sugar (Rs 80.78 crore or 16.30 per cent), Triveni Engineering (Rs 73.76 crore or 9.74 per cent), Mawana Sugars (Rs 41.36 crore or 8.77 per cent) and Simbhaoli Sugars (Rs 36.18 crore or 12.33 per cent).

Those with lower cane outstandings, both in absolute as well as in relative terms, include DCM Shriram Consolidated (Rs 22.43 crore arrears or 4.88 per cent) and the Dalmia Cement Group (Rs 7.96 crore or 4.51 per cent).

In addition, there are combines such as Dwarikesh Sugar Industries Ltd, Sir Shadi Lal Enterprises, DCM Shriram Industries (Daurala sugar factory) and the Jagran Group’s Todarpur (Saharpur) mill that have managed to liquidate their entire cane payment dues for the season.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 24, 2007)
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