Maha sugar season off to slow start, 31 mills start operation

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Published: November 5, 2015 1:05:27 AM

Around 50 crushing licences have been issued so far and about 10-12 licences are being issued on a daily basis, state sugar commissioner Vipin Sharma said.

With the casual cane workers calling off their agitation, Maharashtra’s sugar season this year has got off to a slow start. As many as 31 mills have started crushing 8 lakh tonne of cane to produce 65,000 quintals of sugar, top officials of the Maharashtra Sugar Commissionerate said.

Around 50 crushing licences have been issued so far and about 10-12 licences are being issued on a daily basis, state sugar commissioner Vipin Sharma said. Around 164 mills had applied for crushing licences.

Of the 31 mills which have commenced operations, 16 are cooperative and the remaining are private millers, Sharma said. “We are hopeful that most cane workers would start reporting to their respective mills after Diwali,” he said.

Meanwhile, cane workers are in a jubiliant mood and have called off their agitation after their demand for a wage hike was met. A two-member arbitration panel of Maharashtra women and child welfare minister Pankaja Munde and NCP leader Jayant Patil capped the wages of sugarcane workers at R270 per tonne for a period of five years, while approving a hike of 20% this year.

Munde represented the government while Patil and former Congress minister Harshvardhan Patil represented the sugar mills. Nobody represented the sugarcane workers.

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