The Uttar Pradesh government said that during the 38-month tenure of the Yogi Adityanath government, the sugar mills had cleared Rs 98,382 crore of the sugar cane farmers.
Sugarcane Minister Suresh Rana said here on Saturday that this amount was higher than the total payment made to the sugarcane farmers during the five-year tenure of the previous Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party regime. The minister said for the present cane crushing season which was at its fag end, the sugar mills had so far paid Rs 19,328 crore to the farmers.
The sugarcane minister issued the statement in response to the allegation by Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav that the sugarcane farmers were suffering due to non-payment of their dues by the sugar mills. He also said that the sugar mills were mounting pressure on the sugarcane farmers to harvest the entire cane crop within a week.
The sugarcane minister said the two-month lockdown, which wrecked havoc on most of the sectors of the economy, had failed to stall the Uttar Pradesh sugar industry.
UP till May 27 has achieved record production of sugar — 1.25 crore MT — against the previous highest of 1.20 crore MT in 2017-18 sugar season. During the last cane crushing season, the sugar industry had cloaked production figure of 1.17 crore MT.
The increase in UP’s production is significant when seen in the national context, which has posted a 19 per cent decline in production from 32.61 million tonne to 26.36 million tonne till May 15. Of the 119 sugar mills operational in the state, 94 had closed down while 25 are still operational. During the last season on the same day, 109 out of 119 stopped cane crushing.
For clearing the arrears of the sugarcane farmers, UP government has recommended to the Centre to advise the Reserve Bank of India to remove the sugar industry from the negative list. The move will pave the way for additional working capital through enhanced cash credit limit (CCL) for the sugar industry thus facilitating the quick settlement of the arrears of the farmers.
The price of the molasses, a by-product crashed to almost negative with the record cane crushing and sugar production coupled with the lockdown led to the sharp drop in sugar consumption and lifting of the sugar stocks. This has created arrears of Rs 15,000 crore for the current cane crushing season 2019-20. With the enhancement of the CCL the sugar industry will be able to clear the arrears.