Punjab govt issues ordinance to protect sugarcane growers

LAHORE: The Punjab government has issued the Sugar Factories Act Amendment Ordinance 2020 to protect sugarcane growers from exploitation by the sugar mill mafia.

Under the Act, the mill owner will be fined for delay in payment of dues of sugarcane growers. Illegal deduction in weight and payment will be punishable by 3 years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5 million.

Under the Sugar Factories Act Amendment Ordinance 2020, it will be mandatory to issue a formal receipt for receipt of sugar mill sugarcane. Sugarcane dues will be credited to the farmer’s account.

Agents of the Sugar Mill will be required to issue a formal receipt to the mill for weighing sugarcane. Issuing raw receipts to farmers by sugar mills would be a crime.

The Ordinance has empowered the Cane Commissioner to determine and collect the dues of the farmers. The collection of dues can be done through the Land Revenue Act. If the sugarcane farmers do not pay their dues, the mill owner will be arrested and the mill will be confiscated.

The Deputy Commissioners, as Additional Cane Commissioner, will be bound to carry out the arrest and execution orders. Delay in starting crushing of sugarcane will result in imprisonment of three years and a fine of Rs. 5 million per day.

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