January 25: Sugarcane farmers have warned of launching their protest again in the capital after the sugar mill owners did not keep their promise to clear their long-standing dues.
The farmers had staged protest in the capital for two week starting from December 13. The agitating farmers had reached an understanding with the government on December 28 for the clearance of their dues, which the sugar industries had been withholding since many years.
The farmers had signed a four-point agreement with the government on December 28. As per the agreement reached between representatives of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies and the farmers, the sugar mill owners had been given 21 days to clear all the dues.
But the farmers have not received full payment even after the deadline.
Secretary of the Sugarcane Farmers’ Struggle Committee Hari Shyam Raya informed that they will launch protests in the capital again if their dues are not cleared soon.
The sugarcane farmers have started protests in various districts to give pressure to the government to take the initiative to release their dues from the sugar mills. The protests at the district level will continue till March 5.
“If the dues are not cleared within that time, we will launch protests in the capital,” said Raya.
Meanwhile, the government authorities say they are working to ensure that the dues are cleared as soon as possible.
Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies Baikuntha Aryal claimed that the ministry will ensure payment to the farmers at any cost. However, the ministry has not paid attention to fulfilling its commitment as per the agreement signed on December 28.
According to the ministry, the sugar mills have already paid Rs 573 million to the farmers while they still owe Rs 81 million.