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LAHORE: The Cane Commissioner Punjab on Monday issued show-cause notices to 10 sugar mills of the province for not starting crushing season 2022-23 and warned the occupiers of these mills of a legal action.

Cane Commissioner Hussain Bahadur told Business Recorder that 31 sugar mills had started crushing out of the total 41 situated in the province.

However, he said three sugar mills had sought their internal issues while seven had alleged they were not receiving cane yet as an excuse for delaying the crushing.

He said these 10 mills had been issued show-cause notices under the law as Section 8 of the Punjab Sugar Factories Control Act, 1950, states that the occupier of a factory should start crushing of cane not later than a date specified by the government. This year the government had asked the mills to start crushing cane by November 25, 2022.

The notices addressing the defaulter millers/occupiers said that as they had failed to start crushing of sugarcane till date which is tantamount to defiance of laws/rules and it may lead to imposition of penalties as envisaged under the Sugar Factories (Control) (Amendment) Act 2021.

The cane commissioner through notices asked the mills to reply the show-cause within two days on receipt of this notice and also appear before the undersigned on November 30, 2022 positively.

It warned that an ex-parte notice would be taken if they fail to reply the show-cause notice within the stipulated time and action under Section 21 of the Act will be initiated against the occupier/general manager of the sugar mill.

The Cane Commissioner said that committees had also been constituted under the additional cane commissioners (deputy commissioners) of every district where sugar mills are situated to monitor and submit the report to the cane commissioner office on daily basis.

Vide another notification, the Cane Commissioner had also asked the millers to file returns relating to the production and sale of sugar and purchase of cane under rule 16(10) of the Punjab Sugar Factories Control Rules, 1950. These returns require details of cane crushed, sugar produced, recovery rate, balance stocks, total stocks and sugar sold etc.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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