Mandya farmers in a debt trap

Mandya farmers in a debt trap

Thousands of farmers and their families, in the district, are deep in debt, due to the non-payment of bills by sugar factories, even after three months of supplying sugarcane.

The factories are keeping the bills pending and are not ready to pay Rs 2,500 per tonne as fixed by the government. The government, which had assured to pay an additional incentive of Rs 150 per tonne has not taken any steps in this regard.

Sugar factories

There are five sugar factories in the district, but, only Mysore Sugar Company (MySugar) has paid Rs 2,500 per tonne to farmers. However, the remaining Rs 150 is yet to be settled.

The Pandavapura Cooperative Sugar Factory has paid Rs 2,400 per tonne to farmers, but the difference of Rs 100, amounting to a total of Rs 1.3 crore is pending.

The three private sugar factories have not paid the farmers adequately.

While Chamundeshwari Sugar Factory at K M Doddi is yet to pay Rs 47.2 crore, NSL factory of Koppa Rs 39.2 crore and Coramandel Factory at K R Pet Rs 17.4 crore. In all, the factories are yet to pay arrears to the tune of Rs 105.20 crore.

According to rules, the bills should be settled within 15 days of supplying the cane. Even after four months, there are no signs of payment by the factories and the government has failed to take any action against violation.

The district had faced drought consecutively for three years. With the water level in the KRS reservoir reaching the maximum last year, the farmers were confident of a good yield and had invested in the crop after availing loans.

Nagaraju of K M Doddi said, he had assured the financiers that he would repay the loan once the bills are paid. Now, the delay in payment has caused him a lot of problems as the interest on the loan amount is adding up pressure.

Conspiracy

Meanwhile, Raitha Sangha district unit president Konasale Narasaraju alleged that it is the conspiracy of the sugar factories, as the Central government has extended interest-free loans to the factories that are unable to pay arrears to farmers.

Except for MySugar, all factories have paid only Rs 2,400 per tonne and private factories have huge amounts pending, he said.

The silence of the elected representatives and the District Administration has irked the ryots. They make a mention only when questioned by the media.

They have failed in exerting pressure on the government, say farmers.

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