Agri Business

Maharashtra sugar mills fail to pay FRP dues of ₹589 crore

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on August 29, 2019

Even as the majority of sugar mills in Maharashtra have paid 100 per cent fair and remunerative price (FRP) to farmers, 76 sugar mills have still not paid an amount worth ₹589 crore to cane growers. Sugar Commissionerate officials said the dues would be recovered before the commencement of the new crushing season.

Outstanding dues

Data released by the Sugar Commissioner’s office show that sugar mills in the State had to pay ₹23,207 crore as FRP to cane growers. By the end of the crushing season, farmers had received about ₹22, 645 crore.

The Sugarcane (Control) Order, 1966 stipulates payment of the cane price within 14 days of supply, failing which interest at the rate of 15 per cent per annum on the amount due for the delayed period beyond 14 days is payable.

Sugar Commissionerate officials said that for the first time, sugar mills have paid 98 per cent FRP and the State will ensure that defaulter mills pay the dues before the new crushing season begins. According to the Sugar Commissionerate, revenue recovery certificate (RRC) notices have been issued to the defaulting mills.

This season, 195 sugar mills in the State have crushed 952 lakh tonnes of sugarcane to produce 107 lakh tonnes of sugar with 11.26 per cent extract. This is a record crushing and production, considering the severe drought in the State.

‘Mills owe more’

Former MP and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader Raju Shetti said sugar mills owe more to farmers and that sugar mills are hiding facts. “We are going to agitate till all sugar mills pay 100 per cent FRP,” he added.

Sugar mill owners have been saying that excess sugar production and depressed domestic sugar prices have led to accumulation of arrears. Sugar production in India during the 2017-18 sugar season was about 322 lt, which is a record production.

Published on August 29, 2019

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