UP sugar mills still owe Rs 4,900 crore in farmers’ outstanding
Even as the Uttar Pradesh government has raised the sugarcane purchase price to Rs 350 quintal for the next crushing season 2021-22, the state sugar mills still owe about Rs 4,900 crore in farmers’ outstanding for the current season (Oct-Sep).
Even as the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government has raised the sugarcane purchase price to Rs 350 quintal for the next crushing season 2021-22, the state sugar mills still owe about Rs 4,900 crore in farmers’ outstanding for the current season (Oct-Sep).
UP sugarcane development and sugar industry minister Suresh Rana said here on September 27 that the 119 sugar mills had settled 85 per cent of the payments, and an amount of Rs 4,900 crore was residue for the 2020-21 crushing season.
“The chief minister (Yogi Adityanath) has issued directives for starting the sugar mills in the Western UP region from October 20. The state government will take steps to ensure that the arrears of the current year were settled before the crushing operations begin,” he underlined.
Rana claimed that the settlement of 85 per cent of dues was the highest in any given season over the past 20 years despite the current season facing the pandemic challenges.
Addressing a farmers’ meeting in Lucknow on September 26, Yogi Adityanath had announced an upward revision in the state advisory price (SAP) of cane from Rs 325 per quintal for the early varieties, which constitute almost 98 per cent of the total cane production, to Rs 350 per quintal.
The government claimed the hike would result in an additional earning of Rs 4,000 crore for the farmers in the next season, while total payments in the entire season would touch a record level of Rs 38,000 crore.
“After coming to power in 2017, the Yogi government has facilitated (the) payment of Rs 1.44 trillion to the cane farmers, which is equal to the combined payments made in 10 years (2007-17) during the previous Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) regimes,” Rana added.
He claimed that not only had the UP sugarcane acreage gone up by 800,000 hectares since 2017, but the productivity had also increased from 66 tonnes/hectare to 81.5 tonnes/hectare, which was 10 tonnes/hectare higher than the national average of 71 tonnes/hectare.
Moreover, the state gave licenses for the setting up of 270 khandsari (unprocessed sugar) units totalling 70,000 tonnes of cane crushed per day (TCD) capacity – equivalent to 14 sugar mills. This created 50,000 new jobs and improved rural income considerably.
“The state government ensured an unhindered crushing season even during the pandemic although mills in other states, including Maharashtra and Punjab, faced difficulties to operate,” the UP cabinet minister noted.
He asserted that UP topped the chart in terms of sugarcane, sugar and ethanol production in India and that it led to farm prosperity. “We have integrated 55 sugar mills with the ethanol chain.”