With an aim to clear cane arrears of farmers for the current (2017-18) season, the Yogi Adityanath government is likely to grant a Rs 5,535-crore package. This multi-thousand crore package will be provided to mills to clear outstanding payments to farmers. Out of this 5,535-crore, Rs 1,010 crore will be disbursed to 24 cooperative factories.
Apart from this, Rs 25 crore will be given to the sole state corporation-owned mill, according to Indian Express report. Out of the remaining Rs 4,500 crore , Rs 500 crore will be given as grant to private sugar mills and Rs 4000 crore will be provided in form bad loans, the report says.
“The entire money is going to be used for clearing cane arrears of farmers for the current (2017-18) season. We have already made budgetary provision towards this through a supplementary demand for grants last month. The state cabinet will formally approve the package in the coming week,” Suresh Rana, UP’s Minister of Sugar
Industry and Cane Development, was quoted as saying by IE. With this Rs 500-crore grant, private mills would make payment at the rate of Rs 4.50 per quintal, the minister said. “The interest rate to be charged on the Rs 4,000-crore soft loan and the various conditions for availing it will be decided at the cabinet meeting,” he added.
According to data from the Cane Commissioner’s Office at Lucknow, mills in UP bought sugarcane worth Rs 35,458.28 crore at the state government’s advised price (SAP) of Rs 315-325 per quintal during the 2017-18 season. Out of that, they paid Rs 25,492.11 crore as on September 10, leaving arrears of Rs 9,966.17 crore. “The package will allow us to immediately clear the dues of cooperatives and the corporation-owned mills. We are hopeful of clearing the private mills’ portion, too, before the beginning of the next season,” said Rana.
Last year, in its first budget, the Yogi Adityanath government had announced a special provision of Rs 36,000 crore to honour its poll promise of farm loan waiver through debt redemption.