Sugarcane dues: Supreme Court seeks reply from govt, sugar mills on timely payment plea


The petition sought direction to the Centre and state governments to file affidavits setting out the details of the amounts due, the amounts paid and arrears by the sugar mills to the sugarcane grower or their cooperatives for sale of their cane along with interest thereon at 15% on year-wise from 2018 to 2020.The petition sought route to the Centre and state governments to file affidavits setting out the small print of the quantities due, the quantities paid and arrears by the sugar mills to the sugarcane grower or their cooperatives on the market of their cane together with curiosity thereon at 15% on year-wise from 2018 to 2020.

The Supreme Courtroom on Wednesday sought response from the Centre, numerous state governments and sugar mills, together with Bajaj Hindustan Sugar and Indian Sugarmills Affiliation, on a petition looking for creation of a mechanism to make sure well timed fee of dues to sugarcane producers and launch of some advert hoc funds to the sugarcane growers towards their excellent dues.

A Bench led by Chief Justice NV Ramana issued notices to the Centre and 11 sugarcane rising state governments and sugar mills – Bajaj Hindustan Sugar, Indian Sugarmills Affiliation, Cane Agro Vitality (India) and Indian Sucrose – on a petition by six farmers from Maharashtra, together with a former Parliamentarian Raju Anna Shetti, alleging that there’s a vicious cycle below which sugar mills are declared sick and dues payable to farmers accumulate into thousand of crores. As per the federal government information, the farmers claimed, that sugar mills owe Rs 18,000 to farmers as on January 1, 2021. These 11 states – Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Gujarat, Bihar, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu – produce bulk of the sugarcane within the nation.

The petition sought route to the Centre and state governments to file affidavits setting out the small print of the quantities due, the quantities paid and arrears by the sugar mills to the sugarcane grower or their cooperatives on the market of their cane together with curiosity thereon at 15% on year-wise from 2018 to 2020.

It additionally posted the matter for additional listening to after three weeks time.

Senior counsel Anand Grover, showing for the petitioners, argued that at present the difficulty isn’t earlier than any excessive court docket, and it is going to be in one of the best curiosity of the farmers to move an order that shall be relevant all through the nation. He urged the SC to direct the governments to launch some advert hoc funds to the sugarcane growers towards their excellent dues.

Whereas looking for a route to the federal government to connect sugar shares mendacity with the mills and promote and distribute the proceeds to the sugarcane farmers, the petitioners alleged that non-payment of dues is a violation of Sugar (Management) Order, 1966, which stipulates that the fee to sugarcane suppliers, shall be made on the earliest inside 14 days from the date of provide. The Important Commodities Act 1955 additionally envisages {that a} “truthful and remunerative worth” should be paid to the producers, they added.

It sought a mechanism by which the worth of sugarcane manufacturing is paid to farmers as per regulation as a way to keep away from the buildup of such dues and to stop farmers from vicious cycle when a sugar mill is asserted sick and their dues of sugarcane produce remained unpaid.

As of April 8, 2020, the sugar mills had bought sugarcane price Rs 28,000 crore, however paid solely Rs 15,430 crore, they added.

The petition said that as per the info accessed by FE as on August 21, 2020, 119 sugar mills have simply paid 70% of their 2019-20 cane dues to farmers and round Rs 11,000 crore dues are pending. Among the personal mills have paid lower than 50% and are the same old defaulters, it added. Whereas the Simbhaoli group has paid 24% and owes Rs 590 crore, the Modi group has paid 27% of dues and has Rs 568 crore pending, it stated, including that the Bajaj Group being one of many largest sugar producers having 14 sugar mills in UP, has paid solely 39% of its whole dues and round Rs 3,200 crore is but to be paid.

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