'Sugar worth Rs 10K cr lying unsold in State godowns'

'Sugar worth Rs 10K cr lying unsold in State godowns'

Sugar Minister H S Mahadev Prasad on Wednesday said processed sugar worth Rs 10,000 crore was lying unsold in godowns across the State.

Indicating that the sugar market was poor and there could be a delay in disbursing compensation to sugar cane farmers, Prasad said about 35 lakh metric tonnes of the sweetener were lying unsold in godowns. “We have seized godowns of sugar companies which have not paid farmers in Belagavi. There’s no one to buy the stocks even during auction,” he said.

Prasad said the government owed sugar cane farmers Rs 900 crore. “The government has paid Rs 1,172 crore to sugar cane farmers for the 2013-14 financial year, but Rs 900 crore is still pending. We will try to disburse the amount as early as possible,” he said. The minister, who recently attended a meeting called by Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ramvilas Paswan, said the State had sought soft loans for sugar industries. “Last year, we received Rs 958 crore as soft loan and we are expecting Rs 1,000 crore this year. Soft loans would mean that there will be no interest for the initial three years,” he said.

He said the government would seek a relief of Rs 300-400 crore for paying farmers. Besides, it would also request the Centre to buy sugar under the public distribution system and take it as buffer stock.

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