Nation Current Affairs 02 Jul 2018 Sugar mills delay du ...

Sugar mills delay dues, growers bitter

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | NAUSHAD BIJAPUR
Published Jul 2, 2018, 6:16 am IST
Updated Jul 2, 2018, 6:16 am IST
Factories in Vijayapura, Belagavi districts yet to settle farmers’ pending dues of over Rs 358 cr.
Shockingly, the ongoing deaths of farmers and the crippled agriculture sector have still not woken up the government from its stupor.
 Shockingly, the ongoing deaths of farmers and the crippled agriculture sector have still not woken up the government from its stupor.

Belagavi: It needed a plea for mercy killing by a sugarcane grower in Belagavi to force two sugar factories to recently settle his pending dues and get rid of his financial crisis once and for all.

In the course of the last few years many cane growers have committed suicide in the state while some others have died unable to afford the medical bills for their treatment. In a fresh development, it has come to light that sugar factories in Belagavi and Vijayapura districts of north-Karnataka are yet to settle a whopping Rs 358 crores of pending bills of cane growers!

 

Shockingly, the ongoing deaths of farmers and the crippled agriculture sector have still not woken up the government from its stupor. Even as farmers struggle to eke out a living due to their mounting debts, the state government is grappling with the issue of farm loan waiver and is not ready to get the pending bills of cane growers released by sugar factories.

According to sources, sugar factories in Vijayapura district owned Rs 229 crore in pending bills to cane growers while in Belagavi which is known as the state's sugar-bowl, factories are yet to settle Rs 129 crore of pending dues. As per government guidelines, sugar factories must settle the bills within 15 days of getting cane from growers. In case of failure to settle the bills in time, factories must clear the dues along with the rate of interest on bills without more delay.

 

Riding on the powerful sugar lobby that comprises of many legislators in both the ruling and opposition parties, most sugar factories in the state continue to overlook government's guidelines and leave farmers to suffer.

The first instalment of the bills which factories should have settled within 15 days, has not been paid even after 10 months in Vijayapura district. In Belagavi, 17 sugar factories owed about Rs 568 crore to cane growers and managed to settle Rs 439 crore by June this year. However, Rs 129 crore is yet to be cleared by them.

 

Belagavi Deputy Commissioner, S Ziyaulla took representatives of sugar factories in Belagavi to task at a meeting in his office for violating the government's guidelines to settle bills on time. ``The factories should clear cane growers’ dues as per the Fair and Renumerative Price (FRP) fixed for cane without  more delay,'' he warned.

Lambasting Public Administration Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi over the failure of his sugar factory in Belagavi to settle the dues of sugarcane growers, Rajya Raitha Sangh state president Kodihalli Chandrashekhar said the minister should quit his post on moral grounds. The minister should also ensure that all sugar factories in Belagavi district pay cane growers dues immediately, he said.

 

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Location: India, Karnataka, Belagavi




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