Amendments to sugarcane procurement order to be opposed

The proposed amendment to sugarcane procurement and payment norms are favourable to mill owners, say cultivators.   | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

The Karnataka Sugarcane Cultivators Association has opposed the proposed amendments to the Sugarcane Order, 1966, that facilitates the sugar mills to pay the farmers in instalments over 60 days.

The earlier order mandated that the FRP to the farmers should be paid within 14 days of procurement of sugarcane. The order also had a provision as per which failure to comply with the 14-day deadline would result in the mills having to pay an interest of 15 per cent per annum.

Opposing the amendments proposed by the Centre, Kurubur Shanthakumar, president of the association, said here on Sunday that the farmers are already in doldrums due to the delayed payment by the sugar mills. More than ₹600 crore was pending due to delayed payments to the farmers during the last financial year alone. Instead of supporting the farmers to get their rightful due, the government is poised to pass a law that will further delay the payment and help the mill owners but will drive farmers to desperation, said Mr. Shanthakumar.

He said though the existing law provided for payment of 15 per cent rate of interest on delayed payment, it has never been invoked by the government and the new law will add to the delay. Mr. Shanthakumar said the network of sugarcane farmers association across the country have expressed its opposition to the amendment. If the Centre does not drop the proposed order the farmers will stage an agitation in front of the offices and residences of the MPs who will also be apprised of the farmers’ position and urged to oppose the changes.

The association has also criticised the Centre for fixing ₹2,900 per tonne as the Fair and Remunerative Price for sugarcane for the current year. This is too low and does not even meet the cultivation cost which is ₹3,200 per ton and hence will be opposed, said Mr. Shanthakumar.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 9:10:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/amendments-to-sugarcane-procurement-order-to-be-opposed/article37041211.ece

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