The government of Punjab has mandated on Thursday the sugar millers to carry out their transactions to sugarcane growers via banks.
Apparently, in its bid to control the sugar crisis and exploitation of sugarcane farmers, the provincial government has amended the Sugar Factories Control Act 1950 to necessitate the recorded transactions.
The Cane Commissioner of Punjab administration has advised the cane growers to open their bank accounts in the local banks near the mills to ensure swift transactions.
With transactions made via banks, the growers shall have the protection from millers’ alleged exploitation, the cane commissioner noted. He said that with banks arbitrating the transactions between the dealings of growers and millers, the issues such as the middlemen will be avoidable.
It is pertinent to note that the above development followed relevant new revelations, which emerged in the sugar mills scandal as the Anti Corruption Establishment divulged sugar mills across Punjab have evaded billions in payables.
According to the details, sugarcane farmers listed a plethora of complaints against the exploitation by sugar millers to the Director-General Anti Corruption Gohar Nafees, who is heading the investigations.
While the Punjab Cane Commissioner data apprised the DG of about Rs1 billion in payables by the sugar mill owners, DG ACE Nafees said that according to registered complaints of the farmers, the mill owners were liable to payables of Rs3 billion.
The anti-corruption official said that the millers were ones to persecute and exploit the farmers as they deducted illegally from the payables and paid farmers less than their share.