Sugar factories yet to settle dues of farmers

Sugar factories yet to settle dues of farmers

MySugar factory in Mandya. dh-file photo

Despite the Deputy Commissioner’s warning, the sugar factories in the district are in no mood to settle the dues, amounting to crores of rupees, leaving sugarcane growers in distress.

The cane growers are yet to get the payment for the sugarcane supplied to four sugar factories in the district, during the previous season. The factory managements seems to neglect the warning issued by the Deputy Commissioner, who has ordered to seize the available sugar stocks in the factory godowns.

FRP

The Union government has fixed a fair remunerative price (FRP) of Rs 2,750 per tonne of sugarcane, but, the farmers of the district are paid Rs 2,625 per tonne, based on the production. According to norms, the factories should pay an advance amount of Rs 1,500, when the cane is supplied, and the rest later. But, a few factories have not even paid the advance amount to the farmers, pushing them into a debt trap, it is alleged.

Rs 135 crore pending

The government-owned Mysuru Sugar (MySugar) factory, which was once the lifeline of the people of Mandya, too has to pay Rs 22 crore to the farmers. The factory had crushed 1.36 lakh tonnes of sugarcane last year, till it stopped functioning.

The NSL Factory at Koppa in Maddur taluk, had crushed seven lakh tonnes of cane and has arrears of Rs 41 crore. It may be recalled that the distillery plant explosion of this factory had destroyed vast tracts of agricultural lands. The farmers allege that the factory has cheated the farmers in disbursing compensation. Chamundeshwari Sugar Factory at Bharatinagar, also in Maddur taluk, has crushed 5.9 lakh tonnes and has Rs 45 crore pending. The Coromandel Sugar Factory, in KR Pet taluk, has crushed 6.16 lakh tonnes and has Rs 25 crore pending.

DC’s order

Deputy Commissioner N Manjushri held a meeting with the sugar factories management boards last month and warned of seizing sugar stocks, if they fail to settle the dues immediately.

Though 10,823 quintals of sugar was seized from NSL Factory, the factories have not taken it seriously, leaving the farmers in a fix.

Speaking to DH, Additional DC M R Rajesh said, “The DC has given a fresh deadline of four days to settle the dues to the farmers. They have been given a warning that the sugar from all factories would be seized, in case they fail to settle the dues within the deadline.

Farmer leader K S Nanjundegowda said that the lifting of sugar from the factories will not help to clear the dues and it is not the right administrative method.

“Instead, the licenses of the factories should be cancelled. The factory should pledge the sugar in the bank and settle the dues. The factories will continue to cheat the farmers if the DC does not take the right step,” he added.

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