The Opposition BJP on Monday accused the state government of colluding with sugar factories to deny farmers the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of Rs 2,100 per tonne of sugarcane, payment of which is mandatory as per a Central rule.
During a discussion on the issue in the Legislative Assembly, Leader of the Opposition Jagadish Shettar said several ministers in the Siddaramaiah Cabinet, who owned sugar factories, had not paid the basis rate to the sugarcane farmers and the state government has remained a silent spectator.
“Ministers Satish Jarkiholi, Shamanur Shivashankarappa own sugar factories. Ministers themselves are not following the government order that all sugar factories should pay the FRP to farmers, but no action is being taken against them. Siddaramaiah should drop them from the Cabinet”, Shettar said.
Shettar said the Karnataka Sugarcane (Regulation of Purchase and Supply) Act, 2013 has provisions which empower the government to take action against sugar factory owners who do not pay dues to farmers. However, the penal provisions have not been invoked, Shettar alleged.
JD(S) Floor Leader H D Kumaraswamy urged the government to pay the dues to the farmers and later recover the same from the factory owners. The factories owe cane growers arrears amounting to Rs 3,111 crore.
Sugar Minister H S Mahadevaprasad said the sugar commissioner had issued notices to the 57 factories.