Karnataka Rajya Kabbu Belegarara Sangha president Kurubur Shanthakumar alleged here on Friday that Minister for Excise Satish L. Jarkiholi, who runs a sugar factory in Gokak taluk of Belgaum district, apart from managing other sugar mills in the State, had made false claims on payment of sugarcane bills to cane growers.
He said in a release issued here that these factories had paid only Rs. 2,000 a tonne to the grower for the sugarcane supplied last year, and had falsely claimed to the government that they had paid Rs. 2,400 a tonne. The Core Green Sugar Mills in Gulbarga had also made similar false claims.
He said more than Rs. 800 crore was due from various sugar mills to the growers for produce supplied during the preceding crushing year 2012-13, and urged the government to appoint a committee to take up an impartial probe into the claims of sugar mills and take action against those making false claims.
“It is not fair on the part of the State government to mislead the growers and public by presenting false claims made by the sugar mills on the floor of the legislature,” he said.
The government should issue directions to all the concerned authorities to regularly monitor weigh bridges installed at both co-operative and private sugar factories to check tampering, as there were allegations of 10 p.c. to 15 p.c. difference in the weight for every truck load.
Mr. Shantakumar demanded imposing a fine of Rs. 25 lakh on sugar mills that had not made full payment of dues to farmer Vittal Bhimappa Arabhavi, who had committed suicide during the ongoing farmers’ agitation in front of Suvarna Soudha on Wednesday.
Mr. Shanthakumar appealed to all the sugarcane growers to contribute Re. 1 for every tonne supplied to the mill so that the amount collected could be utilised to help the sugarcane growing families who have lost their members to suicide in various parts of the State.