The Maharashtra government on Friday imposed fines on seven sugar mills for continuing crushing operations in the 2015-16 season without licences. Besides, showcause notices have been issued to six mills seeking reasons on why revenue recovery certificate (RRC) action should not be taken against them, officials said.
State sugar commissioner Vipin Sharma told FE that the fine has been imposed at the rate of R500 per tonne from the date of commencing crushing operations. A final hearing will be held at the commissionerate on January 18 after which RRC orders will be issued, he said.
The government had decided to take RRC action against 13 mills that remained shut this season for non-payment of FRP dues to farmers for the 2014-15 season. “Of the 13 mills, RRC orders have already been issued against seven mills. Showcause notices have been issued to the remaining six mills and action will be taken against them after the hearing,” Sharma said. The collectors of the respective districts are, meanwhile, trying to recover dues from the seven mills against which RRC orders were issued last season itself, he added.
The commissioner, who held a review meeting of all the managing directors of sugar mills in Pune, said that he had impressed upon them the need to complete their FRP payments to farmers as per the pre-decided 80:20 formula. The arrears position will be known in the next three days after which the government will begin taking action, he said.
The government has also suspended the crushing licences of 12 mills for non- payment of FRP dues for the 2014-15.
Meanwhile, some more mills in the drought-hit state have expressed their inability to meet the mandated export target set by the Centre and have decided to approach the Centre to seek relief.
Shivajirao Nagawade, chairman, Maharashtra State Cooperative Sugar Factories Federation, pointed out that barring Kolhapur and Sangli region, mills in the rest of the state are finding it difficult to continue crushing operations for long owing to the shortage of water. In such a scenario, if the mills sell sugar in the export market as per the quota, they will end up making huge losses.