Parliament passes bill to help sugarcane farmers

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New Delhi, Mar 19 (UNI) The Parliament today passed the Sugar Development Fund (Amendment) Bill,2008 empowering states to recover from sugar mills dues they owe to farmers.

The Amendment Bill was adopted by Rajya Sabha today, while Lok Sabha had passed it earlier.

The Bill authorises deputy commissioners to sell or auction stock, machinary or land of a sugar mill to make recovery to pay farmers their dues from the mill owners.

Winding up debate on the Bill, which replaces the Ordinance, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said sugar mills will be paid funds equivalent to five per cent of interest on loans on any central government scheme to enable them make payment of outstanding dues to the farmers. He said such funds would be exclusively used for paying off the farmers dues in 14 days. In case the mill owners delayed payment beyond two weeks, they would be levied 14 per cent interest on dues payable to farmers.

Meanwhile, the Minister said the government propose to export 30 lakh tonnes of sugar this year in view of glut at home.


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