Punjab: Dhuri sugar mill auction postponed

District administration postponed the auction of the private sugar mill located in Dhuri on Wednesday, allotting it one more week clear the cane farmers’ dues to the tune of 7.82 crore.

Administration officials went for the auction in the morning and were joined by officials of the excise and taxation department, who claimed that the mill defaulted on the tax of 46 crore.

In the meantime, farmers gathered outside the mill and did not allow the officials to leave.

Avtar Singh, a cane farmer and leader of the Ganna Sangharsh Committee, said, “The administration deliberately brought the excise and taxation department into the picture to delay the auction. The excise officials are claiming that the amount is pending since 1974. But what were they doing before this?”

“Officials went inside the mill to pretend that they are taking action against the mill for not releasing any payment. However, it was mere an eyewash as they went inside without the revenue records. Now they have given another week to the mill to clear the pending dues,” he said, adding that around 8 crore of more than 500 farmers was pending with the mill for the 2021-22 season.

“Besides, farmers of Haryana are also waiting for their dues amounting to 55 lakh, which are been pending since the last season,” the cane farmer said.

Dhuri subdivisional magistrate Amit Gupta said, “I am still inside the mill and speaking with management on this issue. Apart from this, I cannot comment on anything else.”