Kathmandu. Sugar mills have paid Rs 310 million to sugarcane farmers till Thursday, with Rs 340 million dues remaining to be cleared.
Sugarcane farmers have been protesting in Kathmandu for the last two weeks demanding that the sugar mills clear their due payment. The farmers had not received any payment since nearly five years.
Of the paid amount, Shree Ram Sugar Mill has deposited Rs 260 million in the farmers’ accounts, while Annapurna and Indira Sugar Mill deposited altogether Rs 50 million by Thursday. The owner of the Annapurna and Indira Sugar Mill is the same.
According to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, all other sugar mills are in contact with the government and are in the process of clearing their dues to the farmers, but the representative of Lumbini Sugar Mills is yet to be determined.
As the owner of Lumbini Sugar Mills passed away earlier, its payment has been stalled, the ministry stated. But, the ministry has claimed that the payment will be recovered after finalising the person responsible after the demise of the former owner, Manish Agrawal.
Of the remaining dues, Shree Ram Sugar Mill is yet to pay Rs 170 million, while Annapurna and Indira Mills jointly owe Rs 167 million. Meanwhile, Lumbini Mills has outstanding due of Rs 107.4 million.
Of the total due amount of Rs 650 million, the ministry has said that the mill owners have pledged to pay Rs 490 million to the farmers.
On Thursday, the ministry had urged the farmers to end their protest and give 21-day time to the government to recover their payment. However, the farmers have said they will continue their protest till they get their full payment.
Amid this, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) has already provided the grant amount to be paid to the sugarcane farmers.