Gujarat Khedut Samaj on Saturday decided to make representations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding income tax notices to two sugar cooperatives, during his upcoming visit to Bajipura in Tapi district on April 17.
The Income Tax Department of Surat has issued notices of assessment, asking Bardoli and Chalthan sugar cooperative factories to pay a total of Rs 143 crore for paying the farmers more than the fair and remunerative price (FRP) as fixed by the government.
The Khedut Samaj held a meeting on Saturday afternoon with farmers and the members of Bardoli sugar cooperative at Bardoli Khedut Samaj Bhavan to discuss the issue.
Khedut Samaj, south Gujarat, president Jayesh Patel said, “We will make representations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his upcoming visit. We will make the farmers aware of the notices. We are making efforts to convince over one lakh farmers from South Gujarat to remain present during the representations.”
The I-T department had earlier slapped notices to the Bardoli suger cooperative for Rs 101 crore and Chalthan factory for Rs 42 crore in 2012-13, to which they had replied then. As the reply was not satisfactory, the I-T again issued notices recently to pay the taxable amount in 30 days.
Earlier the chairmen of both the cooperatives had given written replies that they ran the factories on no-profit-no-loss basis.
Bardoli sugar cooperative factory chairman Raman Patel said, “We have received the notices. The I-T officials had not taken into consideration our earlier answers. We will put this issue in front of the state body in coming days.”
Gujarat state sugar cooperative federation chairman Mansinh Patel said, “We came to know about the notices today (Saturday). We will carry out a meeting with all the sugar cooperative federations in coming days and will decide our future course of action.”
Sources said that two representatives of Gujarat state sugar cooperative — chairman Patel and Gandevi sugar cooperative chairman Jayenti Patel — will participate in the general board meeting of national sugar federation to be held in Delhi on April 11. The Gujarat representatives will raise the issue then.
There are 13 sugar cooperative factories in the state, out of which around 10 are in Surat and south Gujarat.