Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath on Thursday said that his government will ensure payment of sugarcane dues even if the state has to auction off defaulter mills.
Adityanath took a tough stance on the issue of arrears while addressing a public meeting after inaugurating the state-run sugar unit at Munderwa in Basti district. He said the state government, over the past two and half years, had facilitated cane payments of Rs 76,000 crore.
Currently, the UP mills, mostly belonging to the private sector, owe about Rs 3,600 crore in farmers’ payments for the previous 2018-19 crushing season even as the new season has already begun.
"Under the previous regimes, sugarcane arrears of 5-10 years were carried forward to the new season owing to the indifferent attitude of the government. However, we would ensure full payment to farmers even if the government has to attach the mills and auction them,” he added.
Adityanath underlined while the earlier state dispensations had closed down 29 sugar mills in UP, including 12 in Purvanchal (Eastern UP), his government was working on a roadmap to revive defunct units in the interest of state farmers and rural economy.
Earlier, the government had announced a revival package of almost Rs 1,100 crore for two defunct cooperative units in Basti and Gorakhpur districts located at Munderwa and Pipraich respectively belonging to UP State Sugar Corporation Limited (UPSSCL).
Now, both these plants are ready to participate in the current 2019-20 crushing cycle, while from next sugar season 2020-21, these units would be equipped with modern technology to produce sulphur less sugar.
Munderwa plant has 5,000 tonnes of cane crushed per day (TCD) capacity (expandable to 7,500 TCD), apart from 27 megawatt (mw) cogeneration facility and a distillery. The unit was closed down in 1999. The cogeneration plant would help the unit earn an additional Rs 30 crore annually.
On November 17 (Sunday), the CM had inaugurated the Pipraich unit at Gorakhpur. It comprises sugar plant of 5,000 TCD capacity (expandable to 7,500 TCD), apart from 27 mw power cogeneration unit and a modern plant of 120 kilolitre per day (KLPD) to produce ethanol directly from sugarcane juice. This unit had been lying closed since 2008.
“Pipraich unit would be the first ethanol plant in North India with the facility to manufacture ethanol directly from sugarcane juice. This fulfills our vision to provide the cane farmers with additional income,” UP sugarcane minister Suresh Rana had earlier said.