The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court Thursday asked the Principal Secretary,Sugar Industries and Cane Development,to file an affidavit on steps taken to comply with its earlier order to clear pending dues of cane farmers within six weeks.
The affidavit has to be filed by September 17.
The bench of Justices Imtiyaz Murtaza and DK Upadhyay,while hearing a writ petition filed by SD Singh and others on delayed payment to cane farmers,posted the case for October 3.
According to Singh,if there is a delay in payment to cane farmers of more than 14 days from the date of purchase of sugarcane,the mills have to pay interest at the rate of 15 per cent to the farmers as well.
As per the latest figures,the total cane payment to farmers stands at 88.7 per cent,with private mills arrears amounting to Rs 2,464 crore and total dues,including that of cooperative mills,Rs 2,539 crore. Cane crushing season ended in May and the new season is to begin within a month.
Last week,the cane commissioner issued recovery certificates against five private mills ,including Naglamal,Billari,Nyoli,Nawabganj and Gadaura sugar mills for huge outstanding dues to sugarcane farmers.
In a strong reaction,the Uttar Pradesh Sugar Mills Association wrote a letter to the commissioner that such coercive measures of the state government at a time when the industry is already in crisis will lead to complications for the upcoming season and prove detrimental to the industry,farmers,workers and the state at large.