Punjab to recover Rs.223.75-cr from Pvt Sugar Mills against 2015-16 payment to cane growers

Chandigarh, July 15, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)

The Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday gave the go-ahead for recovery of Rs. 223.75 crore paid to cane growers on behalf of Private Sugar Mills for the crushing year 2015-16.

This decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh through Video Conferencing.

During the crushing year 2014-15, sugar mills were facing cash flow problems, leading to delayed start and low sugar rate in the market, leading to delay in payment to cane growers. The state government had to step in with payment to the growers on behalf of the sugar mills.

The decision to recover that amount comes in the wake of the recommendations of the high powered committee constituted under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary on November 13, 2017, in compliance of the orders of the Punjab & Haryana High Court. The other members of the committee were Additional Chief Secretary (Development), Financial Commissioner (Excise & Taxation), Financial Commissioner (Cooperation) and Principal Secretary Finance.

The committee, after hearing the representatives of the private sugar mills, observed that Rs.50 per quintal was given as a temporary support, in a bid to alleviate the distress of the farmers.

Since the basic principle behind the support was the low price of sugar in the market, once the average price had increased past Rs.3000 per quintal there was reason enough to recover the earlier amount from the mills, it said in its report submitted on April 11, 2018.

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