11 August 2021, New Delhi: Sugar mills in Maharashtra paid ₹30,418.01 crore net fair and remunerative price (FRP) to sugarcane farmers by July 31 this year. Compared with the same period last year, this year’s FRP is 222 per cent higher with an overall rise of ₹16,689 crore.
In July 2020, mills had paid ₹13,728.94 crore net FRP that was about 95 per cent of the total payable FRP. However, this year, mills have set a record by paying 99 per cent of the total ₹30,809.91 crore payable FRP. Only 1.28 per cent, that is ₹391.90 crore FRP arrears are with mills, according to the Maharashtra Sugar Commissioner office report released on August 4.
Out of 190 mills that started the crushing season, 141 sugar mills have paid 100 per cent FRP while 49 mills have to pay arrears. The Sugar Commissioner has issued Revenue Recovery Certificate (RRC) to 32 mills for the dues to farmers. Total FRP of ₹321 crore for the previous crushing season is pending with mills.
Amit Shah to visit
Even as farmers’ organisations are happy with the high FRP, sugar mills are worried about their financial burden. Recently, a delegation of sugar barons under the leadership of Sharad Pawar met Cooperation Minister Amit Shah and requested him to address concerns of the sugar industry.
According to sources, Pawar requested Shah to visit Pune-based Vasantdada Sugar Institute, the apex research and development body of the State’s sugar sector. The industry plans to make a detailed presentation before Shah and seek the Central government’s help so that sugar mills can start next crushing season without any problems.
The sugar industry wants permission to establish independent ‘Ethanol Manufacturing Unit’ within the premises of the co-operative sugar mills to get easy loans from banks. Also, the industry has been demanding a hike in the minimum selling price (MSP) of sugar.