Kathmandu, Nepal, December 31, 2019: As sugar mills have not paid for their sugarcane crops, the sugarcane farmers have been staging a sit-in in by coming in Kathmandu from different districts of Terai since the past four days. However, neither the government nor the sugar mills have done anything to address their grievance yet forcing them for further sit-in even in the chilly winter.
The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS) has urged the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) to take action against sugar mill operators, who have not cleared payments of cane farmers since long. The MoICS made the urge on the recommendation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MALD). But neither the sugar mills operators are arrested yet nor the government has taken alternative measure to pay the long dues of the poor sugarcane farmers.
Not only one sugar mills but six sugar mills have been refusing to clear their dues that were remained unpaid for past five years. According to the sugarcane farmers, who have gathered in Kathmandu demanding their pay, about 1.33 billion has remained due since five years.
The sugarcane farmers have a list that they to recover 420 million from Shree Ram Sugar Mills, 400 million from Annapurna Sugar Mills, 200 million from Mahalaxmi Sugar Mills, 110 million from Bagmati Sugar Mills and 100 million each from Lumbini Sugar Mills and Indira Sugar Mills. Thirteen sugar mills are operating now across the country in Nepal.
Earlier, the government had directed the mills to pay the farmers on time. But the directives never come into implementation, thanks for the apathy shown not only from the side of the sugar mills but also from the government agencies as well.