Take immediate action against sugar mills: House panel
KATHMANDU, DECEMBER 17
The Industry, Commerce, Labour and Consumer Interest Committee of the Federal Parliament has directed the government to take immediate action against sugar mills that are yet to pay the sugarcane farmers. After sugarcane farmers from Sarlahi reached Kathmandu for the second time to protest and demand the government to recover their due payments, the committee meeting held today has directed the government to take action against sugar mills.
The lawmakers have directed the government to recover all the dues as soon as possible.
“It seems that mill owners are collecting money and investing in other industries instead of paying the farmers,” said lawmaker Prakash Rasaili.
“The government must even recover the interest accrued of the actual due amount of the farmers,” he added.
Similarly, lawmaker Bhimsen Das Pradhan said that the government should seize the property of sugar mills and distribute the due payment of the farmers. Meanwhile, lawmaker Amrita Devi Agrahari requested the government to sort out the issue that has been lingering for more than a year within a week. She also demanded the government to make sure that this is the last time such an incident whereby farmers have to protest for their dues takes place.
Amid this, Shree Ram Sugar Mills, that has the highest due payment has informed the government that it will begin distributing the payment from Friday. Addressing the meeting today, Shashi Kant Agrawal, president of Nepal Sugar Industrialists Association, said that the payment will be distributed from Friday.
Shree Ram Sugar Mills has Rs 350 million due payment.
Agrawal further informed that the association is coordinating with other mills to clear the farmers’ due payment.
The farmers reached the capital city and started protesting from Sunday demanding the government to fulfil its previous commitment of recovering their payments from sugar mills. Initially, only 25 farmers from Sarlahi had arrived in Kathmandu to protest, however, at present farmers from other districts like Bara, Parsa, Rautahat and Nawalparasi have also reached Kathmandu to join the protest.