New Delhi: Sugar mills owe over Rs 444 crore to cane farmers out of the total payable amount of nearly Rs 52,000 crore in the 2011-12 marketing year ended October, the Parliament was informed on Monday.
Sugar mills needs to pay sugarcane growers Rs 314.24 more pertaining to marketing years prior to 2011-12, taking the total outstanding to Rs 758.42 crore.
"The outstanding cane price payment for sugar season 2011-12 (October-September) is about Rs 444 crore against the payable amount of about Rs 51,937 crore which is less than one per cent," Food Minister K V Thomas said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.
Out of Rs 444.18 crore due for the last marketing season, Uttar Pradesh accounts for the maximum arrear of Rs 112.9 crore, followed by Karnataka (Rs 58.99 crore), Maharashtra (Rs 45.96 crore), Bihar (Rs 33.15 crore) and Andhra Pradesh (Rs 33.09 crore), he added.
The Sugarcane (control) Order, 1966 stipulates payment of interest at the rate of 15 percent annually on amount due for the delayed period beyond 14 days. The State and Union territories have been delegated and vested with the powers for enforcing this provision, the minister said.
The Centre with a view to enhance the liquidity of sugar mills for timely payment of sugarcane dues has allowed export of sugar in 2011-12 and also in 2010-11 sugar seasons, Thomas added.
First Published: Monday, December 17, 2012, 15:30