Now, action against 9 mills defaulting on dues

Dec 01 2013, 01:26 IST
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SummaryCane crisis: Harsh measures follow FIRs, breakdown of talks

After lodging FIRs against sugar mills for refusing to start crushing operations, the UP government issued recovery certificates (RC) against nine mills for payment of cane arrears.

The RCs come with the government and the sugar industry making no headway over cane pricing row. While the government has set December 4 and December 7 as deadlines for the mills in western districts and other districts, respectively, to start operations, the latter remains unrelenting.

The government has also added interest and 10 per cent collection charges on the dues of these mills, which, it said, would be implemented only if the mills did not meet deadlines.

Talking to the mediapersons in Lucknow Saturday, Principal Secretary Sugar Industry and Cane Development Rahul Bhatnagar said in the first phase, recovery certificates have been issued to nine mills, which owed the highest cane dues for the last season.

These mills are owned by business groups including Bajaj, Birla, Dalmia, Triveni, Balrampur Sugars, DSCL and Uttam groups.

After the issuance of recovery certificates, several steps could follow arrest of mill managers, property attachment and auction of the mills, said Bhatnagar.

The recovery certificates have been issued as there was no indication from these mills that they will start operations by the specified deadline. There are several mills that have indicated that will start operations . The District Magistrates of these districts have been instructed to take immediate action against these mills, said Bhatnagar.

He said five to six private sugar mills, including those at Dahnaura (Amroha) and Chandpur (Bijnor) belonging to Wave Group, and Biswan (Sitapur) of Sakseria group, have already given the dates for commencement of cane crushing operations. A total of 31 mills, including eight private mills, have begun crushing.

The step was taken after all negotiations with the industry failed to convince the mill owners to start crushing cane for the season.

In August this year, the state government had issued RCs against five sugar mills for payment of arrears.

Of the total 99 private sugar mills that crushed canes in 2012-13, 81 mills have cane dues worth Rs 2318 crore as of now.

Director General, Indian Sugar Mills Association Abinash Verma said the industry continues to be in a precarious financial condition. We still pray for some financial help from the government and continue to wait for it, Verma told.

Mills against whom RCs have been issued and their dues<\b>

* Kinauni

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