Acting tough against sugar mills for failing to pay the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) to farmers, the Maharashtra Cooperation Department has issued notices to 11 mills, including four mills controlled by a minister and two former ministers.
The factories include Nira-Bhima Cooperative Mill (controlled by former Congress minister Harshwardhan Patil), Sahakar Maharshi Cooperative Mill (controlled by former minister Vijaysinh Mohite Patil of NCP), Indreshwar Private Mill (controlled by Harshwardhan Patil’s family) and the BJP minister Vinod Tawde-controlled Srinath Maskoba Private Mill.
The notices are part of the first phase of action against the erring mills, who have defaulted on payments to the tune of Rs. 120 crore, a senior official said.
Notices have been sent by Regional Director (Sugar) Shashikant Ghorpade to eight factories in Solapur, two in Pune and one in Satara district, the official said.
More notices are likely next week, the official said. Altogether, 28 factories in the Pune region have so far cleared dues for the last crushing season.
State Cooperation Minister Chandrakant Patil recently indicated that action would be initiated against sugar mills for failing to clear cane dues for the last crushing season.
Patil had said the Sugar Commissioner’s office would be issuing notices to the erring mills after the one-month moratorium came to an end.
“At least 97 per cent of the cane dues have been cleared, but few mills are yet to clear theirs. As of November-end, cane dues in the state stand close to Rs 400 crore,” the minister had said.