Sugarcane dues in UP crosses Rs 2,600 crore mark

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Lucknow, May 4 (UNI) Even after repeated warnings by the Uttar Pradesh government, sugar mills in the state still owe over Rs 2,300 crore to farmers in the current crushing season, while private mill owners were yet to pay Rs 281 crore to the farmers of the last season.

Now, the government was considering taking coercive action against these erring sugar mills for the delay in the payment of the cane dues to the farmers.

On the other hand, the sugar production in the current season has also gone down as against production of 90 lakh metric tonne of sugar in 2006-07. This season it was around 74 lakh metric tonne.

State cane commissioner Har Saran Das said here the government will soon initiate the process of issue of Recovery Certificates (RC) against the defaulter sugar mills.

''We have given the mills a last chance to clear the payment as early as possible, but if they fail, then we will act accordingly and in the meantime we are making plans for ensuring the payment to the farmers by the sugar mills,'' he said.

UP Sugar Mills Association (UPSMA) however maintains that private mills were making payments to the farmers. ''Mills are clearing dues of the farmers and is likely to be cleared soon, but it is not possible to give a definite timeframe as to when dues will be cleared cent percent,'' said D Thakur, secretary of UPSMA, a body of the private sugar mills.

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