THE STATE cooperative department has imposed penalties amounting to Rs 38 crore on nine sugar mills for going ahead with cane-crushing without licences. These mills were denied licences as they had not cleared fair remuneration price to sugar cane farmers. Sending notices to the mills, the state sugar commission has asked them to comply with penalty payment at the earliest, failing which, stricter action will follow.
All these sugar mills are in Western Maharashtra — the sugar belt of state — four in Pune district, two each in Solapur, and Sangli, and one in Satara district.
Officials in State Cooperative department said, “Sugar mills must pay farmers in exchange for sugar cane, at FRP. FRP is the minimum statutory rate fixed by the Centre annually. Any sugar mill paying below FRP invites action from the commission. The current commissioner, Shekhar Gaikwad, has been monitoring sugar mills closely to ensure farmers are not only paid on time but also given their dues.”
As per data from the cooperative department data, the mills served notice along with the penalty amount is as follows: Vishwasrao Naik Cooperative Sugar Mills (Shirala taluka in Sangli) Rs 7.57 crore; Shankarrao Patil Coop Sugar Mill (Indapur taluka, Pune) Rs 6.85 crore; Chhatrapati Coop Sugar Mill (district Pune) Rs 2.02 crore; Neera Bhima Sugar Mill (Indapur taluka, Pune) Rs 1.27 crore.
Padmabhushan Krantiveer Nagnathanna Naikwadi Sugar Mill (district Sangli) Rs 4.13 crore ; Ghodganga Sugar Mill (Shirur taluka, Pune) Rs 2.60 crore; Indreshwar Sugar Mill ( Barshi, Solapur) Rs 4.79 crore; Sant Damaji Sugar Mill (Mangalvedha taluka, Solapur) Rs 2.64 crore; and Sharyu Sugar Mill (Phaltan taluka, Satara) Rs 6.26 crore.