In a concerning development, sugarcane farmers in Kanchanpur district are facing financial setbacks as the government delays the disbursement of Rs 320 million in subsidies, which were due from the previous year.
The government has a longstanding practice of providing subsidies to sugarcane farmers who sell their produce to domestic sugar industries. Annually, the government allocates the subsidy amount to the Treasury and Comptroller Office in districts where sugar factories operate, which is then distributed to the farmers. Unfortunately, the sugarcane farmers in Kanchanpur have yet to receive last year's subsidies.
Chetan Kumar Rai, the Treasurer of the Committee to Protect Rights and Interests of Sugarcane Farmers, expressed deep concern over the situation. "The government has not released the subsidy amount owed to the farmers. Sugarcane farmers are facing difficulties as they have not received the outstanding subsidy," he stated.
The government, in 2018, established a work procedure outlining the provision of subsidies to sugarcane farmers. Initially set at Rs 65.28 per quintal, the subsidy was increased to Rs 70 per quintal in the last fiscal year.
Kanchanpur district is home to two operational sugar mills – Bhageshwar Sugar Mill at Punarbas and Mahakali Sugar Mill at Belauri. Last year, these mills collectively purchased an impressive 2 million 666 thousand 48 quintals of sugarcane from local farmers.
The delay in subsidy disbursement raises concerns about the financial strain on sugarcane farmers, who heavily depend on these subsidies to sustain their livelihoods. The government is urged to expedite the release of the pending subsidies, providing much-needed relief to the farmers in Kanchanpur.