CM Chavan raps sugar unions over financial mismanagement

Slamming the alleged financial indiscipline exhibited by sugar unions in the state, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan asserted that if the mismanagement continued, then the state government would not be able to provide them with any aid and warned them of stringent action as well.

He was speaking at the 37th Annual General Meeting of Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI) yesterday.

Talking tough: Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan (below) has warned sugar unions of stringent action if they fail to curb financial irregularities. File Pics

Applauding VSI for it works in the field of research and training sector, Chavan said it would be better if the institute established a separate sugar economy department to study sugar economics. Interestingly, Union Agriculture Minister Shard Pawar is the VSI Chairperson.

“I frequently told sugarcane producers to undertake the system of irrigation sprinklers to increase the production of sugarcane, but no efforts have been made in this regard so far,” said Chavan.

He raised the question that if 75 per cent of irrigational water was diverted for producing sugarcane, then how will the state provide water to the cotton farms in Vidarbha.

“If the sugar cooperatives continue their financial indiscipline, then the state government would have to think twice before granting them the crushing licenses,” said Chavan.

He also assured of taking the decision on deferring collection of purchase tax from the sugar factories soon. Chavan added if the sugar factories upheld financial regulations, then the state government would always lend them a helping hand.

“The five per cent purchase tax is being taken from the sugar factories. However, to give them a relief, we will soon take a decision to postpone it on a temporary basis,” said Chavan.

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had said that to help sugar factories, the Centre would allot funds worth Rs 7,200 crore acquired by the state as excise duty.

The Centre also gave a nod for ethanol-blending for petrol. Farmers’ organisations had demanded the same to ensure better income for sugarcane growers in the past, as ethanol is a by-product of sugarcane.

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