Bengaluru: With the sugarcane growers’ problem once again rearing its head, the state government is reportedly mulling ways to find a permanent solution, which could include ending the monopoly of the sugar industry by a few powerful individuals.
Going by official sources, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is studying the feasibility of opening new sugar factories to increase competition among the existing players and end the monopoly of a few powerful individuals in the sugarcane growing districts of Belagavi, Bagalkot and Vijayapura.
Cane growers too would then have the option of supplying their produce to more factories depending upon the
money they paid them, they point out.
The government also reportedly plans to cross-check the audit reports submitted by the mills to see if they have paid the FRP to the cane suppliers to help Mr Kumaraswamy keep his promise to the farmers of taking firm action against the factories which have not. Although going by government records, all the mills have paid the FRP , there is confusion over the additional amount they have promised the farmers, sources explain. The deputy commissioners concerned will be asked to hold talks with both the owners and farmers to sort this out, according to them.
Government officers claim the total arrears due to farmers from the mill owners was around Rs 2000 crore in June this year and has come down to Rs 38 crore now. In their view the amount is negligible when compared to states like Uttar Pradesh, where the factories owe farmers around Rs 6,500 crore and Maharashtra , where they owe the farmers Rs 147 crore. “The claims of farmers in Karnataka are high as they are demanding the additional amount promised by the mill owners over and above the FRP,” they maintain....