Sugarcane farmers, who have been waiting for a long period of time to be paid by sugar mills, have warned to launch a protest in Maitighar Mandala of Kathmandu from Sunday.
A member of the Sugarcane Farmers’ Action Committee said that they were compelled to launch new protests after several sugar mills failed to clear their dues within the promised deadline, which ends today.
The Committe also informed that as there was no sign that the sugar companies will pay the farmers within promised date, they will be left with no option but to extend their protests to Singhadurbar and Prime Minister’s Official residence in Baluwatar.
Records with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies show that farmers have yet to receive total due amount worth Rs 481 million from four sugar producers, namely Shree Ram Sugar Mill, Annapurna Sugar Mill, Indira Sugar Mill and Lumbini Sugar Mill.
Though the season for crushing sugarcane has already begun for this year, these sugar mills have not paid the farmers’ outstanding dues of the past six years.
Shree Ram Sugar Mill has yet to pay Rs 350 million to the farmers, Annapurna Sugar Mill owes Rs 170 million, Lumbini Sugar Mill Rs 84.1 million and Indira Sugar Mill Rs 47 million.
These sugar producing companies have been reluctant to clear their dues with sugarcane farmers citing inability to sell stocks despite constant pressure from government bodies.
Shree Ram Sugar Mill, which owes the largest amount to the farmers, remains closed since July this year. In the name of accumulated losses, the sugar factory shut down its operation without paying the farmers their due amount.
Last year too, the farmers had gathered from various districts and staged a sit-in in the capital. Following which, the government had assured them to make sugarcane producers settle the dues within the first week of December every year.
The assurance, however, failed to bear fruit.