Lucknow: Private sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh are yet to clear outstanding dues of Rs 3,964.45 crore of sugarcane farmers for the 2021-22 crushing season, the state Legislative Assembly was informed on Wednesday.
In reply to a question, Sugarcane Development and Sugar Mills Minister Chaudhary Laxmi Narayan said that in the crushing season 2021-22, some private sector sugar mills have to clear the dues worth Rs 3,964.45 crore.
Leader of Opposition Akhilesh Yadav took a dig at the government saying that there is a double engine government but about Rs 4,000 crore have not yet been paid while they claim to be the well wishers of the farmers.
To a question by Samajwadi Party MLA Pankaj Malik on dues pending on sugar mills, Laxmi Narayan said there are no dues pending on cooperative sugar mills of the state for the crushing seasons -2018 19 2019 2020 and 2020-2021.
The minister said that only Rs 440.67 crore is due for payment of cane price for the crushing season 2021-22 on cooperative sugar mills.
Similarly, there are no cane arrears on the private mills for the crushing seasons 2018-19 and 2019-20, the minister said, adding that for the crushing season 2020-21, only Gadaura (Maharajganj) sugar mill has arrears for payment of cane price amounting to Rs 11.44 crore.
But, for the crushing season 2021-22, certain private sector sugar mills have arrears amounting to Rs 3 964.45 crores for payment, he said.
Raising a supplementary question, Pankaj Malik and Prasanna Kumar of Rashtriya Lok Dal asked whether the farmers would be made payments with interest and what action would be taken against those millers who are not making payments within 14 days.
The sugarcane minister said that an order waiving interest was issued during Akhilesh Yadav's government and the matter is still pending in the court. To this, Yadav intervened and said that it has been more than five-and-a-half years since SP is out of the government and the minister is speaking about it without considering the circumstances under which it was waived. He taunted that the minister wanted to pay but he was also not being heard.
The minister pointed out that during Mayawati's tenure, 19 sugar mills were closed down and sold and 11 sugar mills were closed during the tenure of Akhilesh Yadav.
Yogi Adityanath government has set up five new mills, the minister said, adding that the present government has paid more to sugarcane farmers than what was not paid in the 10 years of BSP and SP governments.