Sugar mills in Sangli and Kolhapur districts of Maharashtra have issued public notices announcing their intention to give sugar instead of money to their growers. This follows the meeting held in Pune on Monday wherein millers had taken to this recourse to escape action for non-payment of cane dues.
The Indian Express had reported how faced with over Rs 4,300 crores cane arrears and the threat of action by sugar commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad, mills have zeroed in on this scheme.
As per the arrangement, mills will give farmers 20 per cent of their Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) in the form of sugar instead of cash. This roughly translates into 17 kg of sugar per tonne of cane sold by the farmer.
In the notice, mills have asked interested farmers to give applications in the nearest offices of the sugar mills. Farmers are required to provide proof of sale along with the application A window period of seven days is given for the scheme and non receiving of application would mean farmers are not interested to take sugar and are ready for delayed payment. The notice also said mills will clear their dues as and when they raise enough cash.
Delayed payment and partial payment of FRP had seen incidents of violence from the cane growing parts of the state. Members of the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana had ransacked multiple offices of sugar mills in Sangli and Kolhapur.
On January 28, Sanghatana chief MP Raju Shetti had led a rally of over 5000 farmers to Punedeman, demanding action against errant mills.
Subsequently, Gaikwad had issued orders of property attachment against 39 mills. This sugar for cash scheme is a result of such action. Shetti has welcomed this scheme and declared they will take sugar and retail the same.