Sugar mill owners face arrest for withholding farmers’ dues


A ministerial level meeting held at the home ministry today directed the authorities concerned to initiate action against sugar mills that have not yet cleared sugarcane farmers’ dues.

After sugarcane farmers from Sarlahi came to Kathmandu to launch a protest demanding that the government help them recover their dues, the home ministry called a ministerial level meeting today. According to Chakra Bahadur Budha, spokesperson for the home ministry, local administrations have been directed to take legal action against sugar mills to recover farmers’ dues.

“The payment problem that sugarcane farmers have been facing has lingered on, forcing farmers to launch another protest. If farmers’ dues are not cleared, proprietors of sugar mills that are withholding their dues will be arrested,”

Budha told THT.

The meeting was attended by Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, Agriculture Minister Ghanashyam Bhusal, Industry Minister Lekhraj Bhatta, Federal Affairs Minister Hridayesh Tripathi, and representatives of Nepal Police. Farmers’ representatives did not attend today’s meeting.

Even on Monday they had refused to sit for a meeting, demanding that the government fulfil its commitment made last year.

As many as 25 sugarcane farmers from Sarlahi started their protest in Kathmandu on Sunday.

They have urged the government to fulfil its commitment made last year. According to government data, sugar mills owe farmers more than Rs 550 million — Shree Ram Sugar Mills has to pay Rs 260 million, Indira Sugar Mill Rs 47 million, Lumbini Sugar Mill Rs 84 million, and Annapurna Sugar Mill Rs 170 million.