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Cane farmers still await their payment

KATHMANDU: Sugarcane farmers have not been able to get payment from the sugar industry even after two weeks of postponing their protest.

The sugarcane farmers had postponed the protest on December 28 after reaching an agreement with the government after a three-week long agitation. Although the government has directed the sugar industries to pay all the dues of the sugarcane farmers within 21 days, the farmers have not been paid yet.

Sugarcane farmer Narendra Yadav (Bhagji) had passed away during the protest on December 29. The next day after Yadav’s death, Rs 1.6 million was paid into his account. Since then, Lumbini and Shri Ram Sugar Mills have paid a small amount, but Annapurna and Indira Sugar Mills have not paid the farmers.

Rakesh Agrawal, manager of Annapurna and Indirachini Mills, said that Rs 10 million would be paid daily to the sugarcane farmer’s account. However, the payment has been halted at this moment.

Manish Mishra, a student leader of the Janata Samajwadi Party and a sugarcane farmer, said that even though he had paid for a few days, not a single rupee had been paid since the day the protest was postponed.

Annapurna Mill is yet to pay Rs. 170 million. Indira Sugar Mill has not paid the remaining Rs 47 million. Similarly, Shree Ram Sugar Mill has yet to pay Rs 330 million while Lumbini Sugar Mill has not paid Rs 84 million. Shree Ram has so far paid Rs 260 million to the farmers. Lumbini Sugar Mill has already paid Rs 13.6 million. Manoj Agrawal, the operator of Lumbini Sugar Mill, had paid Rs 10 million after the government took action against him.

For the past five years, sugarcane farmers have had to come to Kathmandu every year to get the payment of their sugarcane.

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