Action against sugar mills on false report of clearance of growers’ dues

Published July 12, 2021
The order explained the action was being taken on at least 27 complaints regarding non-payment of sugarcane dues by the occupier during April and May, 2021. — AFP/File
The order explained the action was being taken on at least 27 complaints regarding non-payment of sugarcane dues by the occupier during April and May, 2021. — AFP/File

LAHORE: Irked by submission of an apparently bogus report by a sugar mills about clearance of growers’ dues, the Punjab cane commissioner has decided to act against the unit, also directing others to submit a daily report of payments made against their respective sugarcane purchases.

Cane Commissioner Muhammad Zaman Wattoo on Friday (July 9) issued notice to M/S GB Private (Ltd), the occupier of Pasrur Sugar Mills, asking it to stop disposing of its sugar stock and appear before him on July 17, along with the payments record. The occupier, prima facie, submitted a bogus clearance certificate (Sugarcane Report-II or SCR-II) on March 31 earlier this year, the notice said.

The order explained the action was being taken on at least 27 complaints regarding non-payment of sugarcane dues by the occupier during April and May, 2021.

The total amount of the dues mentioned in the complaints is over Rs38.67 million.

Cane commissioner to launch drive against units submitting fake SCR-II

Mr Wattoo directed the Sialkot deputy commissioner to strictly enforce the order, restraining further sale/disposing of sugar by the mills.

Talking to Dawn on Sunday, Mr Wattoo said his office was going to launch an aggressive campaign from Monday (today) against submission of false SCR-II and directing all the mills to provide the dues clearance reports to his office on a daily basis.

Answering a question, he said as a recent Supreme Court verdict had declared that the sugarcane price was the Statutory First Charge on the sweetener produced from the cane supplied by the growers, his office may withhold the sugar stock lying with a mill until all the dues against it were not cleared by the occupier of the unit. Or, he added, it might be monitored how much quantity of the sugar stock was sold for clearance of the dues.

He said as the Pasrur Sugar Mills had already delayed payments to the growers by over three months, the payable amount, along with interest, might be recovered from the occupier as arrears of land revenue as per the Sugar Factories (Control) Act, 1950.

Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2021

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