MEERUT: The sugar industry in Uttar Pradesh is facing bitter times. Sugar mills, which have been struggling to pay cane arrears to farmers, have alleged that coercive action by the state government is crippling them. About 64 FIRs have been filed against sugar mills that have defaulted on payment of arrears to cane farmers so far this year, according to data obtained from the Uttar Pradesh Sugar Mills Association (UPSMA).
TOI had reported last week that Mawana Sugar Limited (MSL) had written to the cane commissioner claiming that coercive measures to extract arrears from the mills have made sugar business less lucrative and have come as an impediment to the functioning of mills.
“Mills are not functioning right now. A lot of repair and renovation work needs to be carried out before we can start the crushing season next year. Unfortunately, the coercive methods being used by the state government are crippling the functioning of sugar mills in UP. If this goes on, we will not be ready to start crushing next year. In fact, some mills have already announced that they would shut operations. We have been suffering losses for quite some time now due to lower sugar prices, but now the crisis has reached its highest point,” a source in the sugar industry told TOI.
A total of 41 sugar mills have shut since 1993. These include four mills which had announced that they would shut down this year. Bajaj Sugar’s Pratappur mill in Deoria district and Gangnauli mill in Saharanpur district, BCML’s Khalilabad mill in Santkabir Nagar district and Phenil Sugar’s Walterganj mill in Basti district are shutting down.
Read full article: TOI