CHENNAI: The delay in disbursing bank loans to private sugar producers arranged by the Centre and the fall in selling price of sugar have led to a pile-up of dues for the cane growers, who supply cane to the mills on contract farming, said Power Minister P Thangamani in the Assembly on Thursday.
Intervening in the debate on the demands for grants of Industries and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Departments, Thangamani, who had held Industries portfolio under the previous regime, recalled that the Centre announced to arrange bank loans worth Rs 7,000 crore for the private sugar producers but only Rs 4,000 crore was disbursed.
“The selling price of sugar has also dropped to below Rs 30 much lower than the production cost. These factors led to huge loss for the sugar producers. So, they are not able to clear the dues for the cane growers”, he told.
Replying to a query over the rationale of announcing the stated advised price (SAP) for sugarcane procurement when the private mills allegedly fail to offer the rate, raised by DMK member Saba Rajendran, Thangamani noted, “The SAP needs to be announced to protect the interests of the cane growers who supply the produce to the cooperative sugar mills as well”.
The Industries Minister, MC Sampath said, “We have sought loans for the cooperative and public sector sugar mills worth Rs 349.40 crore. Once the loan is received, the dues will be cleared.” He said that the issue would be taken to the notice of the Chief Minister for further action.