By NewsGram Staff Writer
The leading names of the sugar industry have left the UP government in a spot of bother.
Sugar mills owned by nine top notch companies such as Bajaj, Birla, Modi group and the late liquor baron Ponty Chadda-led ‘Wave group’ account for over Rs 5000 crores, more than half of the total outstanding cane arrears in the country.
The reports of the cane development department revealed by an English daily, show that these sugar biggies are the country’s biggest laggards in making cane payments.
After buying cane in huge quantity from farmers, the private mills have come to default on a payment of over Rs 5100 crores, reported The Times of India.
Bajaj alone is defaulting on a payment of Rs 2100 crores, while Birla is yet to pay Rs 520 crores. Mawana group which has three mills is defaulting on a payment of Rs 611 crores, while the Modi group owes around Rs 460 crores to the farmers. The Yadu group, owned by mafia turned politician, DP Yadav, is defaulting to the tune of Rs 62 crores.
Out of a total of 103, 40 mills belonging to these companies are defaulting massively and have left the poor cane growers in a state of complete loss.
“The department would be considering action against the defaulters very soon”, said UP cane commissioner Subhash Chandra Sharma.
Earlier a recent high court order had directed the state government to force 75 per cent of the total cane dues paid to the farmers by July 15.
An action report is required to be filed by the cane department by July 28.
Talking about the steps undertaken to bring the defaulters to book Sharma said, “The department is taking all possible steps including initiating action like registering FIRs and issuing recovery challans against the millers.”
“The payment is being done but very slowly. Not surprisingly, an arrear running into thousands of crores would be carried into the next crushing season which would start by October end”, Sharma said while commenting on the progress made thus far.
According to recent figures from the Centre’s directorate of sugar shows that nationally UP accounts for the highest cane arrears while Maharashtra comes a close second.
The lower arrears for Maharashtra in comparison to UP are attributed to a lesser compensation for farmers.