Agri Business

Sugar mills yet to clear ₹2,400-cr dues to farmers

PTI New Delhi | Updated on February 25, 2020 Published on February 25, 2020

₹1,574 cr disbursed to sugar mills under assistance schemes

Sugar mills are yet to clear pending dues worth ₹2,400 crore of the last two sugar seasons to cane growers, a senior Food Ministry official said on Tuesday.

Depressed sugar prices due to surplus sugar production in two consecutive sugar seasons (2017-18 and 2018-19) adversely affected the liquidity of sugar mills, resulting in accumulation of cane price arrears of farmers. Till last month, mills have cleared about ₹84,700 crore in dues of the 2018-19 sugar season (October-September) and ₹84,900 crore arrears of 2017-18, the official said.

Still, about 2,300 crore is pending for clearance for the 2018-19 sugar season and ₹100 crore for the 2017-18 season, he said, adding that payment of cane price by the sugar mills to farmers is a continuous process.

Total dues that mills were to pay till February 2020, was ₹87,000 crore for 2018-19 and ₹85,000 crore for 2017-18 sugar season, the official added.

In a bid to improve the liquidity position of sugar mills in the country and enable them clear cane price dues of farmers, the government took several measures in 2017-18 and 2018-19 sugar seasons.

So far, about ₹1,574 crore has been disbursed to sugar mills under various assistance schemes, the official said.

Under the Sugarcane (Control) Order 1966, sugar mills are required to make cane price payment to farmers within 14 days of supply of cane.

If the mills fail to make the payment in 14 days, they have to pay interest at the rate of 15 per cent a year.

Published on February 25, 2020
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