KATHMANDU, Jan 21: Sugarcane farmers on Thursday announced to launch protests again, stating that both the government and sugar mills do not maintain transparency in settling the outstanding dues of the farmers.
According to the Sugarcane Farmer Struggle Committee, sugarcane farmers are yet to receive full payments for their sold produce despite the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS)’s claim that sugar producers have now paid most of the farmers’ money.
Issuing a press release on Thursday, the farmers said that the MoICS has claimed that the farmers have been paid Rs 570 million out of the promised amount of Rs 650 million. The MoICS has also claimed that the remaining Rs 80 million has also come under control of the ministry, but the farmers are not convinced by the ministry’s statement.
According to the farmers, the amount that the ministry has claimed that that the farmers have been paid is yet to be deposited in the bank accounts of the farmers. “Neither the government nor the sugar mills have formally notified the details of the actually settled amount and the remaining dues of the farmers,” reads a press release of the struggle committee.
On December 28, the MoICS signed a deal with the farmers in which the ministry expressed its assurance to make the sugar mills clear all the dues of the farmers in 21 days. The government's deadline ended on Monday. In the deal to lure the farmers, the ministry had even said that it would take into liquidation the fixed property of those mills that refuse to pay the farmers.
The cane farmers have expressed their dissatisfaction over the government apathy to resolve the issue coherently. According to them, the government has been seeking the struggle committee’s help to get the payment details instead of asking the sugar mills to provide the information.
“We will continue a legal battle until the convincing and evidence-based details of the payments made to the farmers are not made public,” said the farmers.