Karnataka

Defaulting sugar mills will face legal action: CM

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Last two instalments of sugarcane farmers’ dues to be paid between March and June next

The State government on Monday committed itself on the floor of the Legislative Assembly to ensuring that the sugar factories paid the last two instalments of dues amounting to Rs. 200 towards farmers between March and June 2015.

Such a commitment was made by the government when the members of the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal (S) resorted to dharna in the well of the House demanding that the government should specify when the last two instalments of dues will be paid to farmers.

Replying to them, Sugar Minister H.S. Mahadevaprasad explained that so far the sugar factories had paid Rs. 2,100 a tonne as against the full price of Rs. 2,500. Of the dues, the factories were supposed to pay Rs. 200 a tonne by December 31 while the remaining Rs. 200 would have to be paid in two installments between March and June., he said.

The government would hold consultations with the sugar factories regarding the payment of dues soon after the ongoing crushing season ended in March, he said.

Intervening during the reply, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the government would resort to stringent legal action against sugar factories if they failed to pay the last two installments of dues between March and June.

He said the government had decided to wait till March for insisting on payment of last two installments of dues as the ongoing crushing season would end only then. “If we try to make the sugar factories to pay the full dues and initiate any legal action against the defaulting mills during the crushing season, farmers are bound to be affected as that would impact the cane crushing process too,” he maintained.

He turned down the Opposition’s demand to order the sugar factories to pay all the dues before December end while terming it as “impractical”. The chief minister said the three different groups of farmers who staged separate dharnas during the ongoing legislature session at Belagavi had accepted his decision to wait till the end of the ongoing crushing season to make the sugar factories to pay the dues.

He also declared that the government would not yield to any lobbies including the sugar lobby. Expressing dissatisfaction over the reply, the protesting Opposition Congress and JD (S) members staged separate walkouts.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 10:53:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/the-defaulting-sugar-mills-will-face-legal-action-cm/article6694204.ece

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