The Maharashtra government has initiated revenue recovery (RR) measures against three sugar mills in the state for not making fair and remunerative price (FRP) payments for the current crushing season.
“Revenue recovery orders have been issued against two private mills in Nanded (Kunturkar Sugar & Agro Pvt Ltd) and Osmanabad (Jai Laxmi Sugar Product Pvt Ltd), and Rayat Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana in Satara. The total outstanding from these three mills is around R18 crore, “ Vipin Sharma, Maharashtra sugar commissioner told FE.
There was heavy security at the Sugar Commissionerate in Pune on Monday following the ultimatum issued by farmer organisation Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathan (SSS), which has been demanding action against mills that have not made FRP payments.
The Sugar Commissionerate had issued legal notices to over 119 sugar mills in the state for their failure to make FRP payments within 14 days of the start of the crushing season. The sugar commissioner had fixed a staggered deadline for mills to make payments in three parts — for cane crushed in November, December and until January 15. The first deadline for payment of FRP for cane crushed in November was on January 31.
The payment of FRP has been a very contentious issue for mills this season against the backdrop of falling sugar prices. According to Sharma, with the Enactment of Sugarcane Rate Control Act 2013 coming into effect from this season, it is now binding on sugar factories in Maharashtra to make FRP payment in one single amount. Until now, factories could make FRP payments in three installments throughout the season, which gave them ample time to make payments to farmers.
Of 177 mills, 174 mills have made part payments and the RR notices have been issued to mills that have not made a single payment,” he said.