True to its word, the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has started cracking the whip on erring sugar mill owners who have not been paying cane farmers their dues on time.
True to its word, the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has started cracking the whip on erring sugar mill owners who have not been paying cane farmers their dues on time, and instead, diverting the money earned through the sugar industry into other businesses. The state government has filed an FIR under Section 3/7 of the Essential Commodity Act and Sections 120B and 420 of the IPC against Kushagra Bajaj, chairman of the Bajaj group, for diverting `10.74 crores from its Budhana sugar mill in Muzaffarnagar.
In addition to Bajaj, the FIRs also name the occupier of the factory, Rajveer Singh and its finance head. All the charges are of serious nature and are non-bailable offences. According to data collated till February 28 this year, 24 sugar mills in the state were found to have diverted `240.92 crore from the sugar business, out of which 14 belong to the Bajaj group, three are from the Simbhaoli group, two from the Rana group and one each from the Modi, Mawana, Uttam groups.
Two UP state cooperative sugar mills have also been found to have diverted small amounts. Out of the `240.92 crores diversion, 14 sugar factories of the Bajaj group account for roughly `145 crores. Apart from lodging an FIR against the Budhana, the cane department has also ordered the sealing of the godown of Chilwaria sugar factory of the Simbhaoli group and issued recovery certificates to all these factories.
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The data till March 28, from the cane commissioner’s office, details the 6 sugar mills in the state haven’t paid farmers their cane dues of approximately `205 crores for the season 20015-16, while 2 sugar mills haven’t paid `43.74 crores for 2014-15 season, taking the total outstanding for both the years to approximately `250 crores crores. Out of these six mills that have not paid cane dues in 2015-16, 1 factory each belongs to the Bajaj, Modi and Simbhaoli groups, while the other three are single units of the Kilachand group, DP Yadav group and Sanjay Kanoria group.