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Two sugar mills start paying farmers

Kathmandu, Dec 20:

The Rautahat district-based Annapurna Sugar Mill has started clearing farmers’ dues. Issuing a press statement today, the Mill said it will be paying farmers Rs 10 million each day from today.

Mill proprietor Rakesh Agrawal said it prepared a list of sugarcane farmers eligible for payment and Rs 10 million will be deposited in their bank account each day. Last year, the Mill had paid farmers Rs 180 million. According to the statistics at Ministry of Commerce and Supplies, the sugar mills owe Rs 170 million dues to farmers. However, the Nawalparasi-based Indira Sugar Mill is yet to pay Rs 470 million to famers. Shreeram Sugar Mill who has the highest dues has started paying farmers since Friday. The mill has agreed to clear dues by tomorrow. As per the agreement reached with the Ministry, the mill on Friday paid Rs 164 million dues to 6,000 farmers. Sugarcane farmers from several districts have been in the street in the federal capital Kathmandu since last Sunday, citing the violation of a tri-party agreement reached last year among the government, sugar mills and farmers.

According to the Ministry, the Lumbini Sugar Mill (Rs 84.1 million), Indira Sugar Mill (Rs 47 million), Annapurna Sugar Mill (Rs 170 million) and Shreeram Sugar Mill (Rs 350 million) are yet to pay the farmers. It means they due Rs 651 million to farmers in total. However, other mills have not yet proceeded with the payment.

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