Factories told to crush sugar cane

Co-operation and Sugar Minister H S Mahadev Prasad has directed sugar factories to commence crushing instead of allowing the sugar cane to dry.

He said they would be given an opportunity for discussing payment of dues to farmers at a meeting to be presided by the chief minister.

Presiding over a meeting of sugar factory managements and farmers from Belagavi, Vijayapura and Bagalkot districts here, on Thursday, he said the government would not succumb to threats that factories would not commence crushing.

Stating there is no question of backtracking from the prices of Rs 2,500 per tonne announced, he said the Karnataka High Court too had stood with the government and sugar factories should honour the court’s judgement.

About 400-lakh tonne sugar cane in this region has been waiting to be crushed. Hence factories should take unanimous decision and come forward for crushing. They would be given an opportunity for discussing the previous years dues of farmers, he said. Sugar cane Control Board would soon conduct its meeting for deciding scientific pricing of sugar cane for the current season.

More number of farmers and factory representatives would also be appointed on the board, he said. Renuka Sugars Executive Chairperson Vidya Murkumbi said sugar factories were suffering losses and banks were not  giving them loans. “We have paid Rs 2,100 per tonne for sugar cane and it is not possible to pay rest of Rs 400 per tonne,” she said.

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