KATHMANDU, Dec 13: Nearly a year after their agreement with the government in which the latter expressed commitment to ensure timely payments for their produce, sugarcane farmers, who have not been paid by sugar mills for as many as the past six years, have launched protests in Maitighar Mandala, Kathmandu.
Nearly 100 cane farmers from Sarlahi district in the southern belt of the country, who expected to be paid within a month after the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies committed to make necessary arrangements to get their outstanding dues cleared, staged a sit-in in the capital on Sunday in an apparent bid to exert pressure on the government.
It may be noted that the farmers had staged a sit-in in the capital in January, last year too. Then the government had assured the farmers to make sugarcane producers settle the dues within the first week of December every year. However, farmers have failed to receive the payment despite the government’s assurance.
Records at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies show that farmers are yet to receive a due amount worth Rs 481 million from four sugar producers, namely Shree Ram Sugar Mill, Annapurna Sugar Mill, Indira Sugar Mill and Lumbini Sugar Mill. Although the crushing season has already begun for this year, these sugar mills have not paid the farmers’ outstanding dues of the past six years.
The farmers, however, claimed that the sugar mills owe Rs 900 million to the famers who have not been paid for the past four years.
Here are some photos taken by Republica journalists Keshab Thoker and Kamal Subedi at Maitighar Mandala on Sunday afternoon.
Stay tuned to read the detailed story on the issue.