Bowing down to the pressure from the state government,private sugar mill owners Sunday agreed to procure sugarcane at Rs 280 per quintal and start crushing from Monday.
The millers move comes a day after the government issued recovery certificates against nine mills. However,as the millers agreed to start crushing,the government decided to suspend action against the mills.
Chief Secretary Javed Usmani told reporters that the Uttar Pradesh Sugar Mills Association (UPSMA),in a letter to the state government,has agreed to start crushing from Monday. Setting aside their demand of not paying more than Rs 225 per quintal the sugar mills have agreed on the State Advisory Price of Rs 280 per quintal,he said.
However,the millers will pay price to the farmers in two instalments - Rs 260 immediately after the purchase of cane and the remaining Rs 20 before the end of the crushing season.
He said the government has also agreed waive off the commission to be paid to the sugarcane committees. With this,the industry is exempted from entry tax,which is Rs 2.73 per quintal; purchase tax,which is Rs 2 per quintal and Society Commission,which is nearly Rs 6.30 per quintal of cane. The relief amounts to a waiver of Rs 11 per quintal of cane. The total waiver comes to Rs 879 crore for this season.
There is no compromise (between the industry and the state government). It is in in favour of the farmers was that the mills will start crushing immediately, Usmani said,adding all the mills are expected to start crushing within three to four days.
However,he said that the liability to pay the arrears to the farmers will remain on the mills but further action on the recovery certificates has been suspended as of now. Of the total 99 private sugar mills that crushed sugarcane in 2012-13,81 have outstanding cane dues worth Rs ,2318 crore.
UPSMA secretary Deepak Guptara,in a press release,said that despite it being non-viable,the industry at the initiative of the chief minister and in the larger interest of lakhs of farmers has announced commencement of crushing operation for season 2013-14.
The chief secretary said sugar industry in UP involves 32 lakh farmers and over 2 lakh labourers. The industry,with 123 mills,pumps in Rs 22,500 crore into the rural economy every year.