PUDUCHERRY: In a scheme to provide a lifeline to the sugar industry, the Government of India had introduced interest-free loans to sugar mills for paying the dues of farmers. However, the apathy of Puducherry government has come in the way of Puducherry Cooperative Sugar Mill (PCSM) availing a loan of Rs 5 crore.
Though the PCSM had sent a proposal to Puducherry government to itself of the finance guarantee from the government for Rs 5 crore, it had been kept pending by the official machinery for months, said chairman of the mill, Sooran. This led to non-availability of loans, as other mills in the country have got them, he added.
As per the scheme of things, the proposal should to be sent to NABARD by the Puducherry government, which in turn, should send it to the Ministry of Food for processing.
Only when the loan had not been sanctioned, did the chairman approach Chief Minister N Rangasamy and the problem was detected. Thereafter, under a new cooperative secretary, the proposal was provided with the government guarantee and sent to the Ministry of Food through NABARD.
Recently, along with Lok Sabha member R Radhakrishnan, Sooran and managing director of the sugar mill M Rajesekar had called on Union Minister for Food Ram Vilas Paswan and Union Minister of State for Finance Nirmala Seetharaman for considering the proposal for grant of loan.
It would be pursued by Rangasamy after Deepawali, said Sooran.
At present, the mill had dues to the tune of Rs 17 crore to cane growers and another Rs 5 crore as crop loan to banks. “When the mill was in such a state, dilly-dallying by officials is unacceptable”, said Sooren.
Around 2 lakh tonnes of sugarcane are crushed in the mill every year. Dues would rise as the State Advisory Price for 2013-2014 crushing season was yet to be fixed. Only a provisional price of 2,450 per metric tonne was adopted. With Tamil Nadu fixing Rs 2,650 per metric tonne, Puducherry would also have to raise it in accordance with the market price.