From our Readers: Sugar subsidy to farmers- a big lie

The article on sugar subsidy in your website dated 28/12/2020 has nicely brought out how sugar subsidy actually helped the sugar mill owners.

The Government announced in all the papers that Rs. 3500 crores will be spent on farm subsidy and this will benefit 5 crore sugar cane farmers and 50 lakh workers. They said this was to overcome the crisis in the sugar industry due to excess production this year. Domestic sugar requirement is of 260 lakh tonnes whereas this year 310 lakh tonnes has been produced. Government is giving Rs. 3500 crores to export the surplus 60 lakh tonnes of sugar.

They say the funds will be transferred directly into the accounts of farmers by the sugar mill owners, but we know there is no guarantee that sugar mill owners will transfer the funds to the farmers.

Shocking is the fact that sugar farmers have not been paid for their produce sold in UP, Maharashtra and Karnataka by sugar mill owners. Why has the government not dealt with it so far? It also shows their lack of interest to deal with the problems of the sugar cane farmers.

In Aurangabad farmers were detained when they agitated for their dues. Farmers do not have the means to take these sugar mill owners to court; they have no recourse other than agitation.

It exposes the state and Center’s apathy towards the farmers and its support of the monopolies in sugar trade. Union minister Mr. Javadekar is taking the side of mill owners and is saying they are unable to pay the farmers dues because of excess stocks and their inability to export, etc.

It exposes the real economic affairs and it brings out how the funds of the common man benefit only the rich sugar barons whether it is in UP, Bihar, Karnataka, or Maharashtra. This is happening year on year, as last year also a huge subsidy of Rs. 6268 crores was given to the mill owners in September-October 2019. What happened to this money? Why did the sugar owners not pay the dues? Forgot giving any subsidy to the farmers!

The media also does not bring these facts to the people. I agree that the poor farmers have no option left but to agitate. The farmers’ agitation needs to be supported and all this propaganda about subsidy could be to wean away the support from the agitating farmers. Thank you for highlighting the facts about sugar subsidy and the lies the government representatives are spreading.

Usha, Mumbai

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