Rs 106.54 cr pending; cane growers in a fix

Sugar factories have brought stay order against govt

Rs 106.54 cr pending; cane growers in a fix

The woes of the sugarcane growers of the district seem to continue. Several protests by the cane growers, demanding dues from the sugar factories, have not yielded any results.

Along with the arrears of the previous year, the five sugar factories in the district have not paid the bills for the cane supplied this year also.

It may be mentioned that three sugar factories of the district had approached the court, questioning the government order to pay dues for sugarcane supplied last year.

Out of five factories, three are run by private companies, one by government and another by a cooperative union (sahakara).

In all, 33,48,548 metric tonnes of sugarcane was crushed this year, and Rs 741.59 crore was to be paid to farmers. Out of this, Rs 635.05 crore has been settled and Rs 106.54 crore is pending.

The farmers have been protesting for the arrears under various banners. As per the norms, the bill should be paid within 15 days of supplying cane, but unfortunately no factory is adhering to the rules.

The pending amount for the year 2013-14, stands at Rs 20.39 crore, including Rs 7.36 crore by SNL Factory, Rs 6.01 crore by Chamundeshwari Sugars and Rs 7.01 crore by Coromandel Factory.

Stay order

Last year, the government had fixed Rs 2,500 per tonne, which was questioned by the private factories, who approached the court, but was advised to pay as per the price fixed by the government.

So, the Mandya district administration had issued a notice three months ago asking them to pay the dues. The factories, which again knocked on the doors of the court, were successful in getting a stay order. Now, getting the dues has become a distant dream for farmers.

Raitha Sangha vice-president Konasale Narasaraju lamented that even after four months, the farmers have not been paid their dues. Though it is true that the sugar prices have reduced, the sale of by-products should be taken into account, he opined.

Legal action

Deputy Commissioner Ajay Nagabushan said, notices have been issued, directing the factories to pay the arrears before June 30. If they fail, legal action would be taken against them, he added.

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