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Adopt Rangarajan panel formula to end sugar mills’ woes, ISMA tells Centre

Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) on Thursday strongly urged the government to accept and implement the Rangarajan committee formula in order for the Uttar Pradesh mills to function in the coming months. Commenting on the state of UP mills, ISMA director general Abinash Verma said that the UP sugar industry alone has incurred a loss of around Rs 3000 crore and there is no hope for the UP sugar mills to start production unless the Rangarajan committee is brought into immediate effect. He also said that while the government has increased the sugar cane price to Rs 280 per quintal, their paying capacity is only of Rs 225 and this amount difference has left the UP sugar mills in various debts and arrears.

On being asked whether the industry will take any legal recourse, Verma said: ‘ A legal recourse is our last resort. We will continue requesting the state government to come up with a viable price which will help in functioning of the UP mills. We also have to think about the farmers, if the sugar industries do not run then how will they survive?’ ISMA said that out of the 123 mills in Uttar Pradesh ( 23 of corporate sector and 99 of private sector) 76 mills have already sent a closure notice to the Central government.

Commenting on the state’s decision of not encouraging any more talks on the issue and being given a deadline of 4 December to start the mills, Verma said that it is impossible for the mills to start by then, considering that the banks have refused to extend any working capital loans unless the Rangarajan committee proposals are followed.
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