SARLAHI, Nov 28: Farmers who have been facing problems time and again in receiving payments from sugar mills now feel cheated by the government. The government has made several announcements to punish those mills that do not make timely payment. But the government itself has not given the subsidy money even after a year has already passed.
Only 68% of the subsidy money has arrived at the Financial Comptroller General Office, Malangwa, few days ago for payment to farmers who sold sugarcane last December.
According to Jagat Prasad Thapaliya, head of the office, Rs 36 billion is needed to pay the farmers as per the data provided by sugar mills, but only Rs 24 billion has been received. The government is yet to provide Rs 1.41 billion of outstanding payment for last year's subsidy amount.
Farmers complain that Annapurna Sugar Mill has a payment backlog of three year now. Likewise, Mahalaxmi Sugar Mill also has delayed payment. However, Thakur Nepal, officer of Indu Shankar Sugar Mill, claimed to have released payments before mid-October.
“Farmers are restless as sugar mills have not provided their outstanding payments. Now they are waiting for government subsidy as well,” said Kapil Mani Mainali, chairperson of Nepal Sugarcane Producers Association, “Farmers are fed up due to exploitation by sugar mills. Now they are more frustrated due to government's ignorance.”