Sugar production in Uttar Pradesh touches 110 lakh tonnes; farmers dues nearly Rs 12,000 crore

As sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh reach the end of the crushing season, the state’s 120-odd sugar mills have so far produced 110 lakh tonnes, approximately 12 per cent less than last year’s production of 126 lakh tonnes, reports Financial Express.

Of the 120 sugar mills in operation, 110 have shut shop while the remaining 10 are likely to close by the end of the month or in early June. According to industry sources, the season in UP may well end with total output of a little over 110.5 lakh tonnes.

As on 24 May, the 120 mills that operated during the season have paid Rs 20,324 crore cane dues to the farmers, while Rs 11,913 crore are still pending. The 93 private sugar mills operating in the state have cleared 65 per cent of their dues. However, they still owe approximately Rs 10,087 crore, while the 24 UP Cooperative sugar mills have paid only about 38.48 per cent of their dues and still owe the cane farmers Rs 1629 crore.

It may be mentioned that UP has been historically closing sugar seasons with high cane dues. While last year’s (2019-20) cane dues at the end of the season stood at a historical high of Rs 14,800 crore, in 2018-19, the closing dues were at Rs 10,213.88 crore, while in 2017-18, the closing dues were to the tune of Rs 12,419.63 crore.

While the state’s average payment is around 63 per cent, some private sugar mills’ performance is abysmally poor. The major defaulters are the Yadu group’s two mills that have made only 3.06 per cent of its total cane dues, while the Modi group’s two mills have paid only 3.93 per cent of its total cane dues. The Bajaj group too, which has 14 sugar mills in the state, has paid a meagre 15.8 per cent of its total dues, while Simbhaoli group’s three sugar mills have paid a mere 24.12 per cent.

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