Factories prepare recovery reports for the Office of the Sugar Commissioner

AFTER SEVERAL reminders from the state sugar commissioner’s office, mills have expedited the submission of recovery reports, which are used to calculate the final payment to farmers. Of the 103 factories that had produced ethanol from heavy B molasses or directly from cane juice, 79 submitted their final recovery report, certified by the Pune-based Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI).

The former Maha Vikas Aghadi government changed the way the recovery – the ratio of total sugar produced to the amount of cane ground – was calculated. Instead of calculating the payback at the end of the season, starting with the 2021-22 season, the payback would be calculated and payment to farmers would be made based on the current season’s payback.

Since the Fair and Remunerative Price is directly linked to valuation, its calculation over time is important for all stakeholders. The state government had allowed the first payment to be made considering the base payback of 10%, while the final payment would be made once the final payback was set within 15 days of the end of the season.

For mills that had produced ethanol from B-heavy molasses or directly from cane juice, VSI was entrusted with the task of certifying the final valuation after taking into account the diversion of cane to d ‘others products. Farmers were supposed to receive their payment within 15 days of the end of the season.

Given the complex nature of the calculation, most factories were unable to meet the 15-day deadline and final payment to farmers is still pending. Sugar Commissariat officers said this season was the first time such payments had been made, intensive training at both mill and commissioner level was undertaken. Several mills had not provided the required data, which delayed the calculation and therefore the payment to the farmers.

Of the 103 factories, 79 have provided the final certificate by VSI while others are working on finalizing their recovery reports. Ten factories were arrested for not providing the necessary data. Officers said they hoped that by the end of July final calculations would be made and payment to farmers would be authorised.

Until June 30, the state reported payment of 94.55% FRP (calculated at 10% clawback) to farmers. Of the 200 mills that had crushed the cane, 63 paid 100 percent of their duty. This season, five factories have been sued for not paying FRP on time.

Rachel J. Bradford