By Laxman Kafle
Kathmandu, Jan.6: The government has released about Rs. 920 million of Rs. 1.33 billion of subsidy allocated for the sugarcane farmers.
However, only Rs. 230 million has reached the sugarcane farmers by January 5, 2020, said Dr. Hari Bahadur KC, spokesman at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development.
“The process of releasing the remaining Rs. 414 million of subsidy, which had to be distributed to the farmers last fiscal year, is going on as the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development has forwarded the documents to the Ministry of Finance to release the subsidy amount,” he told The Rising Nepal.
The sugarcane farmers have not reached the concerned offices to claim the subsidy amount with the required documents even though the government had released the amount to the District Treasury Controller Offices, he said.
The government had dispatched Rs. 920 million one and a half months ago, he said.
As per the procedures of subsidy, the farmers have to submit the copies of land ownership certificates or lease certificate and bills showing that they have sold the canes to the sugar mills.
“The government has managed this provision to provide subsidy to the real farmers. But the farmers are stating that the preparing the required documents was a complex process. If we provide subsidy only on the basis of the bills issued by the sugarcane mills, it could be misused and the concerned farmers will deprive of the facility,” he said.
The government has been providing subsidy to the framers based on their sugarcanes crushed to produce sugar. Last year, a total of 20.4 million quintals of sugarcane was crushed in local sugar mills.
The government had fixed the minimum sugarcane price at Rs 536.56 per quintal last year, including government subsidy of Rs 65.28 per quintal.
Stating that the sugarcane farmers were unable to collect their dues from the sugar mill owners, the government had started providing subsidy to the farmers’ account after they completed the procedures for the last few years.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development had enforced a new Sugarcane Subsidy Procedure 2076, which makes it mandatory for sugarcane farmers to be registered at the local levels, he said.
The government will provide subsidy to sugarcane farmers from fiscal year 2020-21, which will contain details of farmers, area of cultivated
land, plot numbers and boundaries of sugarcane land, said Dr. KC. “The concerns of the farmers that the existing procedure is difficult to receive the subsidy will be resolved in a way that the subsidy will directly go to the farmers’ account,” he said.
Earlier on Friday, the sugarcane farmers had withdrawn their protest after signing a five-point agreement with the government.
(from The Rising Nepal)