Andhra Pradesh

Deadlock over farmers’ dues continues at NCS Sugars Ltd.

On a war path: CPI(M) activists staging a protest at the NCS Sugar Limited at Latchayyapeta of Vizianagaram district.

On a war path: CPI(M) activists staging a protest at the NCS Sugar Limited at Latchayyapeta of Vizianagaram district.  

Rythu Sangham warns of fresh agitation from March 5

The deadlock over the payment of dues of farmers who have supplied sugarcane to the NCS Sugars Limited at Latchayyapeta in Sitanagaram mandal of Vizianagaram district continues, with the factory management failing to clear the arrears in time, citing issues pertaining to auction of land under the Revenue Recovery Act.

Farmers led by Rythu Sangham affiliated to the CPI(M) have been agitating, seeking the immediate payment of the dues. “The management has to pay around ₹20.7 crore to farmers for the sugarcane supplied in the last three crushing seasons between 2017 and 2019. The farmers will take up a fresh agitation from March 5, if the payments are not done immediately,” Rythu Sangham president Reddi Lakshmi Naidu told The Hindu.

The management could not clear the dues owing to the reported financial problems and lack of remunerative price for sugarcane. However, it has agreed to auction 62.47 acres belonging to the factory which is expected to fetch ₹27.47 crores.

Land auction delayed

However, the auction could not be done in last month. The management claims that despite a good response from many bidders, the process could not be completed owing to technical and procedural problems.

Meanwhile, the company has been directed to pay ₹2.43 crore dues to Employment Provident Fund (EPF), ₹1.56 crore to Excise Department and nearly ₹1 crore as GST.

“We have been trying sincerely to clear all the dues and that is why we have agreed to sell our precious land. Farmers need not worry. The auction process will be completed very shortly,” said NCS Sugars Limited Director Narayanam Srinivas.

‘Dull crushing season’

He said that the company might incur further losses this year owing to the steep drop in sugarcane crushing. “Around 2.79 lakh tonnes of sugarcane were crushed in 2018-19 fiscal. Given the situation, it would be around in 1.28 lakh tonnes at best in 2019-20 financial year,” said Mr. Srinivas.

The crushing season that began in November is all set to end by March-end. “Despite financial constraints, we are running the factory for the benefit of farmers. They should continue supplying sugarcane as the payment process is all set to begin,” added Mr. Srinivas.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 3:56:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/deadlock-over-farmers-dues-continues-at-ncs-sugars-ltd/article30967167.ece

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