BARA, Jan 27: Sugarcane farmers shared their grievances with Lekhraj Bhatta, the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies about the problems they have been facing with sugar mill owners.
Bhatta and government officials of the ministry had visited Reliance Sugar and Chemical Industries Pvt Ltd in Kalaiya Sub-Metropolitan City 24 on Sunday for inspection.
Sugarcane farmers had protested against the sugar mill owners in the capital in the last week of December.
Sugar mill owners have yet to pay the sugarcane farmers even after the government's intervention.
Ramanda Yadav, a sugarcane farmer complained to Bhatta that farmers are compelled to sell sugarcane in credit to sugar mills and have to wait years for payment.
Reliance Sugar Mill has not provided the government subsidy of Rs 5.28 per quintal to the farmers for the past three years. The sugar mill owners have also failed to pay the government subsidy of Rs 65 per quintal to the farmers since past year.
Birendra Kuswaha, chairperson of Sugarcane Producers Farmers Association, also briefed Bhatta about the problems faced by the farmers. The cost of production has increased over the years but the farmers are facing financial crisis due to non-payment by the sugar mill owners.
For the current season, the government had fixed the price of sugarcane at Rs 536 including Rs 65 from the government subsidy whereas the sugar mills had agreed to provide Rs 471 per quintal to the farmers.
According to Raj Kumar Agarwal, owner of the Reliance Sugar and Chemical Industries Pvt Ltd, his company has already cleared all past dues and is working with the farmers to resolve any pending issues.
The team under the leadership of Bhatta had also inspected the under-construction Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in JitpurSimara Sub-Metropolitan City.