New Delhi: The arrears of sugarcane to the farmers as per the figures till May, 2021 have reached about Rs 21,321 crore. Out of this, a huge amount of Rs 18,820 crore has not been paid till May 2021, which is due to sugarcane supplied in the current season ending in September, 2021. While the outstanding of Rs 2,501 crore is for the earlier years.
In 2020-21, about 63 percent of the total cane arrears belong to the farmers of Uttar Pradesh, where elections are going to be held. The remaining arrears are from the farmers of Maharashtra and other states together. If the sugarcane arrears of the farmers of Uttar Pradesh are not paid fast, then it may have an impact on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), because of the total 403 assembly seats in the state, in areas with sugarcane and sugarcane-based economy, there are more than 86. There are 90 assembly constituencies.
Most importantly, most of the assemblies in the sugarcane area are in the western parts of the state, where protests have been going on for more than six months against the three agricultural laws of the Centre. A few days ago a large delegation of farmers had reached the capital Lucknow and other issues were raised along with the demand for payment of cane arrears. According to reports, the farmers had camped in front of the state government offices and had demanded payment of dues.
Traders and industry sources said that one of the reasons for the high cane arrears is record exports and use of sugar in large quantities for ethanol, while there has been no change in the rates of sugar mills for more than the last two years. is. This is important, because on average, a sugar company still generates over 85 percent of its annual revenue from sugar sales.
The last change in the MSP of sugar was done in February, 2019 and since then the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane has increased, but the MSP of sugar has not increased. Presently, the MSP of sugar is Rs 31 a kg, and the MSP has not been increased despite the recommendations of several committees of experts including NITI Aayog. Sources said the sugar industry has told the government that the MSP should be increased by at least Rs 3 to Rs 34 a kg, to improve working capital and help clear cane arrears.