For the farmers of Uttar Pradesh, there is good news as the Uttar Pradesh government headed by Yogi Adityanath has cleared 84 per cent dues of around 45 lakh sugarcane farmers.
“This is the highest and fastest ever payment made in a session in the history of the last 50 years in Uttar Pradesh”, additional chief secretary of cane development department Sanjay R. Bhoosreddy has informed.
According to the cane development department of Uttar Pradesh, in the last four years around Rs 1,42,650 crore has been released for the payment, meaning farmers have received Rs 3,200 per quintal.
The BJP ruled Uttar Pradesh in the past few years has shown upward trends in terms of sugar production. During the cane crushing season from October 2020 till July 2021, there were 120 functional sugar mills. These sugar mills had procured 1,028 lakh tons of sugarcane worth Rs 33,025 crore. And against the target dues worth Rs 27,465 crore have been cleared. Out of 120 mills, as many as 53 mills have cleared entire dues.
The additional chief secretary informed that the chief minister Yogi Adityanath has given instruction to clear the remaining payment of Rs 5,560 crore early and on a priority basis.
The payment of the recent amount may not be a big issue as sugar mills have sufficient stocks of sugar. This record payment is not a mean achievement since there is a steady decline in the institutional procurement of sugar.
But this was made possible as the Yogi government has initiated several reforms to boost sugarcane farmers and the sugar industry like molasses policy to pave the way for the tagging of sale of ethanol and molasses.
The policy approved by the Yogi cabinet in October 2020 is aimed to enable the state to keep a tab on the sale of ethanol so that its proceeds also reach farmers.
Besides, the government has also tagged bagasse and press mud for the cane price payment. In 2017 the Yogi government had formed an Escrow Account jointly operated by mill owners and the cane department.