Another sugar factory defaults on payments to farmers
On July 27, the district administration had seized the Ghataprabha Sugar Factory in Gokak taluk, for not paying farmers who had supplied sugarcane. As per information provided to RTI activist Bhimappa Gadad who had filed an application under the Right to Information Act, there was no stock of sugar in the factory at the time of seizure.
Farmers were promised by the CM of Karnataka that Rs. 2,500 per tonne of sugarcane would be given to them and the same remains to be fulfilled. The Ghataprabha Sugar Factory crushed 3,60,638 tonnes of sugarcane in the year 2013-14 and owed over Rs 7,850 lakhs to sugarcane farmers while it has paid just around Rs. 5,250 lakhs to farmers. The seizure was carried out by a team led by the Assistant Commissioner of Belgaum and the Deputy Director of food and civil supplies. Earlier, the district administration had assured the farmers that their dues would be paid by selling the sugar from the factory.
However, with not a single sack of sugar in the factory, the farmers are not sure whether they would be paid back any amount and if so, how. It has been reported that the factory has other dues as well which require to be paid and the factory may be sold. Payment of dues by the sugar factories to farmers is a long standing problem in the country. Is there a way out?