Sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh, the second-largest producing state, already owe cane farmers about Rs 3,328 crore in dues for the ongoing season, Food Minister K V Thomas said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
Besides, Rs 143.5 crore is due against mills for the sugar seasons from 1994-95 to 2010-11, he said. On cane arrears for the 2011-12 season, ending October, the minister informed that the Supreme Court, in its order dated April 20, had directed mills to pay dues in three instalments. Each was fixed at Rs 1,470 crore and the dates were May 7, June 7 and July 7 of this year, it said.
“Out of the first installment of Rs 1,470.2 crore, sugar mills have paid Rs 1,082.4 crore and only Rs 387.7 crore are pending,” Thomas said, adding the state government is considering action against those mills who are yet to pay first instalment.
Uttar Pradesh has produced 6.96 million tonnes of sugar till April of the 2011-12 season, higher by nearly 1.1 million tonnes from the year-ago period, according to industry data.