Sugar mills owe Rs 13,899 crore to sugarcane growers as of March 21 of the current marketing year ending September, the government said today.
Mills in Uttar Pradesh have maximum cane price arrear at Rs 5,136 crore, followed by Karnataka - Rs 2,539 crore and Maharasthra - Rs 2,348 crore.
"As on March 21, 2018, out of total cane dues payment of Rs 55,553 crore for 2017-18 season, an amount of Rs 41,654 crore has been cleared and Rs 13,899 crore is pending," Minister of State for Food C R Chaudhary said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
Liquidity position of mills has been affected due to downward trend in sugar prices in view of higher production in the 2017-18 marketing year (October-September). This has resulted in delay in cane payment to growers.
"The mill owners are finding it difficult to pay the cane prices to the farmers on time due to decrease in sugar price," he said in a separate reply.
The Maharashtra government has issued notice to 228 sugar mills for recovery of cane payment dues to farmers, he added.
To stabilise domestic prices, Chaudhary said the government has doubled import duty on sugar to 100 per cent, scrapped the export duty and also imposed stock limits on sugar mills for two months.
Sugar output is estimated to rise to 27.2 million tonnes in 2017-18 marketing year, as against the demand of 25 million tonnes.
India had produced 20.3 million tonnes in the 2016-17 marketing year.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)