Sugar News Details

Maharashtra's sugar mills have paid 94% of FRP to farmers this crushing season

07-Jun-2019

This is the first time almost all growers have received dues without delay, say experts
Maharashtra sugar mills have, by the end of crushing season, paid 94 per cent Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) to sugarcane farmers. According to industry experts, this is the first time that farmers have received almost all the payment without any delay. Of the total payable FRP of ₹23,000 crore, mills have paid about ₹21, 604 crore to over 20 lakh cane growers in the State.
 
While the State has credited its policies, such as soft loans, farmers said that agitations by Swabhmani Shetkari Sanghatana built immense pressure on mills ahead of Lok Sabha polls to pay timely FRP.
 
In Maharashtra, 195 sugar mills crushed 952 lakh tonne sugarcane to produce 107 lakh tonne of sugar, with 11.26 per cent extract. This is a record figure, considering the severe drought in the State.
 
According to the Sugar Commissioner Office, Revenue Recovery Certificate (RRC) notices have been issued to the 73 mills that have not paid FRP to farmers. FRP dues worth ₹1,436 crore will be recovered by seizing properties of these mills.
 
The Sugarcane (Control) Order, 1966 stipulates payment of the cane price within 14 days of supply, failing which a f 15 per cent per annum interest on the dues is payable.
 
“This is for the first time that almost all farmers have received their payment as soon as crushing season has ended. In the past, we had to wait for years to receive our payment. The majority of small sugarcane growers are completely dependent on one crop. Timely payment of FRP will help us in all ways” said Baba Sawant, a farmer.
 
Even as the State government is claiming credit for its policies for timely payment of the FRP, farmers credit a massive agitation launched ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, led by former MP Raju Shetti, had moved the Sugar Commissioner office demanding action against defaulter sugar mills.
 
Majority of the mills in the State are owned or controlled by politicians across party lines. Traditionally, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have dominated the sugar sector, although BJP and Shiv Sena leaders joined the league in recent times.
 
Fearing a backlash from farmers in the Lok Sabha elections, these leaders ensured timely FRP payment.
 
Interestingly, Raju Shetti was defeated from Hatkanangale Lok Sabha seat at the hands of Shiv Sena’s Dhairyasheel Mane, who had shifted his loyalties from the NCP.

Source:  www.thehindubusinessline.com