The government has charged the mills with causing revenue losses to the exchequer and the cane societies by procuring cane illegally from farmers, especially at a time when sugar prices are ruling high.
FIRs under various sections of the IPC and other Acts been lodged against the units and promoters of Triveni, Uttam, Bajaj Hindusthan, Mawana, Birla, DCM, Simbhaoli and Tikola groups. In the last crushing season, 19 FIRs were registered.
The government maintained the mills were procuring cane illegally to cash in on the high sugar prices, following which raids were being conducted by joint teams of state excise and sugarcane departments.
The mills have been charged with keeping unaccounted sugarcane stock, violation of cane reservation order, committing forgery with sugarcane societies, tax evasion and breach of the Sugarcane Control, Purchase and Supply Act, 1953 and Essential Commodities Act and Molasses (Control) Act.
So far over 5,600 raids have been conducted, wherein over 725 cases of irregularities were detected. The government has also seized the licences of 150 weighing clerks and suspended 3 societies’ clerks. Notices were issued against mills in over 330 cases of irregularities.
As sugarcane production is considerably down this year, there is a scramble in UP amongst sugar mills, gur and khandsari units to reach the farmers first. The sugar mills are already paying between Rs 230-250 per quintal to farmers.
“We were also getting complaints that the cane mafias were procuring cane for low prices on cash, thereby circumventing laws and evading taxes,” a senior cane department official said adding the drive would continue in the interests of farmers.
UP Chief Minister Mayawati had firmly said her government would not allow the millers to process raw sugar until the crushing season was over. Almost 900,000 tonnes of raw sugar, mainly imported from Brazil, is thus stuck at ports. Meanwhile, some mills had filed petitions in the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad HC challenging the FIRs.