Sugar mills owe Rs 5,800 cr to cane farmers
New Delhi: Sugar mills have paid nearly Rs 53,000 crore to sugarcane farmers and over Rs 5,800 crore was due till June of the 2012-13 marketing year ending September, Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.
In a written reply, Food Minister K V Thomas said the total cane price payable till June of the 2012-13 marketing year (October-September) stood at Rs 58,806.97 crore and out of that mills had made payments to the tune of Rs 52,895.94 crore.
The cane price arrears stood at Rs 5,821.03 till June, which is about 10 percent of the total payable amount.
Mills in Uttar Pradesh, the leading sugar producing state, owes maximum to cane farmers at Rs 4,234.60, the data showed. The cane price arrears in Maharashtra was almost nil.
The outstanding payment of sugar mills in Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and Karnataka stood at Rs 501.37 crore, Rs 375.82 crore and Rs 352.69 crore, respectively.
"The dues position changes continuously on account of fresh supplies received and payment made for previous supplies. As such, it is not possible to indicate time by which dues are likely to be paid to the farmers," Thomas said replying to a query on the deadline by which arrears of sugarcane growers would be cleared.
The minister also informed that the Sugarcane (Control) Order, 1966 stipulates payment of cane price within 14 days of supply, failing which interest at the rate of 15 percent annum is payable to farmers.
Sugar production of India, the world's second largest producer and biggest consumer, is estimated at 25 million tonnes in the 2012-13 marketing year. The annual domestic consumption is seen at 22 million tonnes.