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LAHORE: The Cane Commissioner Punjab taking action against the sugar mills that have not timely paid dues to sugarcane farmers has served legal notices on 27 mills across the province.

These mills collectively default Rs29.3 billion. These mills have been asked to pay the outstanding amount within 15 days of the supply of sugarcane and in case of failure, action under Section 21 of the Punjab Sugar Factories Control Act, 1950, (amended) will be initiated, the notices warned.

Cane Commissioner Muhammad Umer Sher in notices issued to the mills said the payment to growers according to the details submitted by these mills for the fortnight ending on 26.02.2023 is not complete and ratio of the payment needs to be improved further as the province is heading to closure of current crushing season. The notices said that non-clearance of dues is violation of Section 13(2) of the Punjab Sugar Factories Control Act, 1950 read with Rule 14(2) of the Rules, 1950.

“As per section 13(2) of the Act, 1950 and Rule 14(2) of the Rules 1950, the occupier of a factory is bound to make payment to the cane-growers directly into the bank account of the grower within 15 days of the supply of sugarcane,” the notice added.

The mills which have been issued notices included Ashraf Sugar Mills, Adam Sugar Mills, Abdullah Sugar Mills, Al Mueez, Al Arabia, Darya Khan, Ittehad, Fatima, Ganj Bakhsh, Hunza II, Hamza, Indus, Jauharabad, Jamal Din Wali 1, Kashmir, Noon, Popular, Rasool Nawaz, Ramzan, Rahim Yar Khan, Sheikho, Seven Star, Shah Taj, Shikarganj-1, Shakkarganj-II, Tariq Corporation and Tandlianwala-II.

The Punjab Food Department spokesman confirmed issuance of legal notices to above mentioned mills and said that the total amount due against these sugar mills is over Rs29 billion. Sugar mills have been instructed to make payments within 15 days as per the law. If the payments are not made, action will be taken by the Cane Commissioner as per the Punjab Sugar Factories Control Amendment Act, 1950, it warned.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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