Skip to main content
xYOU DESERVE INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL MEDIA. We want readers like you. Support independent critical media.

UP: Farmers In Sitapur, Lakhimpur Threaten Massive Movement on July 15 if Outstanding Cane Dues not Paid

Farmers said the cane-crushing season had ended earlier this month, but payments of over Rs 15 crore are still pending.
Representational Image. Image Courtesy: Pexels

Representational Image. Image Courtesy: NDTV

Lucknow: Irked over the delay in sugarcane payments, farmers on Friday held a demonstration against Mahmudabad co-operative sugar mill in the Sitapur district.

Farmers said the cane-crushing season had ended earlier this month, but payments of over Rs 15 crore were pending.

Per the norms, the payment should be cleared within 14 days of the purchase.

Farmers gathered at the grain market and took out a march to support their demand. They also raised slogans against the government.

Farmers said this year they had suffered crop loss in wheat, mustard and potato, and now, the payment of sugarcane was stuck.

"The government has paid no attention to the plight of farmers. We have been staging a dharna for nearly a month, but to no avail," protesters added.

Ambuj Srivastava, district secretary of Kisan Manch, said, "Every year, sugarcane farmers are forced to hold protests for their payments. The cane-crushing ended on May 20, and the payments of over Rs 15 crore are still due. Farmers also need money to meet their expenses. We are only being given assurances. We have decided to hold a massive protest on July 15 for the payment."

The farmer leader said the state government could not ensure that the company adhered to the 14-day payment cycle mandated under the Sugarcane Control Act. Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar Ltd (BHSL) and a few other mills had kept farmers waiting for even 12-14 months for the payments to be cleared, even after the payment schedule was tightened.

There are 5 sugarcane mills in Sitapur -- Biswan, Ramgarh, Jawaharpur and Mahmudabad. Mahmudabad sugar mill has purchased sugarcane worth Rs 22 lakh, Hargaon sugar mill Rs 1.76 crore, Ramgarh sugar mill Rs 1.03 crore, Biswan sugar mill Rs 1.14 crore and Jawaharpur sugar mill Rs 1.31 crore, respectively.

During the crushing season of these mills, all four sugar mills have made full payments to the sugarcane farmers. Mahmudabad Co-operative Sugar Mill has not given money yet.

"After discussing with the senior officials, the information about Rs 15 crore of pending payment of the farmers will be provided as soon as we receive the fund," said Mahmudabad co-Operative sugar mill Chief Executive Officer to farmers.


The situation is similar in the adjoining Lakhimpur Kheri district. The farmers under the banner of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) - Shakti Sangathan held a meeting on Saturday and gave a call to hold a protest on July 15 if the pending payment of sugarcane farmers is not cleared by then.

In the meeting, presided over by BKU (Shakti Sangathan) district president Santosh Singh, the farmers discussed the issue of pending sugarcane payment of Rs 966.37 crore for the 2021-22 crushing season towards four sugar mills, including the Bajaj Sugar Mill group.

Singh has said that eight months of sugarcane crushing season 2021-22 have elapsed but have not received payment.

"On December 13, 2021, the sugar mills had made a written agreement to pay the payment in 14 days. Chief Development Officer of the district, Anil Kumar Singh, had assured to pay the farmers in 14 days by immediately implementing the certification. But, even after eight months, the farmers have not been paid," he told NewsClick.

The outstanding payment dues to sugarcane farmers across the district stand at Rs 966.37 crore as of September 11, according to Ved Prakash Singh, district sugarcane officer.

"The total outstanding amount is Rs 966.37 crore on four private sugar mills of lakhs of district farmers. The cane price of Rs 803.66 crore is due on three sugar mills of Bajaj Hindustan Group, Gola, Palia and Khambharkheda. Meanwhile, the accounts of the Bajaj group turned into non-performing assets (NPA ) as the company has not been able to repay the loans of the banks. How will the farmers be paid in such a situation?" farmers in Kheri inquired.

Meanwhile, in the just-concluded sugar season, 120-odd mills in the state had purchased cane worth Rs 35,198 crore from farmers. As of July 5, the unpaid dues to farmers by all mills in the state stood at Rs 7,400 crore, according to records accessed in the state sugarcane department on July 6. The biggest defaulter is the privately-owned Bajaj Group which runs 14 sugar mills in the state and accounts for a 38.5% share of the pending dues at Rs 3,200 crore.

Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.

Subscribe Newsclick On Telegram