Kathmandu, January 22
The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies has decided to partially freeze the bank accounts of three sugar mills whose owners have gone out of contact while still owing millions of rupees to sugarcane farmers.
Speaking at a press meet here today, MoICS Joint Secretary Dinesh Bhattarai said financial transactions of three mills — Annapurna Sugar and General Enterprises, Indira Sugar and Agro Enterprises and Lumbini Sugar Industry — except the amount owed to farmers, would be frozen till they cleared their dues. “We have already sent letters to the authorities concerned to do the needful.”
According to Bhattarai, Annapurna Sugar and General Enterprises has only cleared Rs 39 million of Rs 420 million owed to farmers. Similarly, Indira Sugar and Agro Enterprises has paid only Rs 7.4 million of the Rs 100 million in dues. The ministry has no data on the amount owed by Lumbini Sugar Industry as its proprietor Rakesh Kumar Goyal has passed away.
“We have initiated action against three mill owners as they have gone out of contact,” Bhattarai clarified, adding that the MoICS had sought support of Ministry of Home Affairs to locate Rakesh Kumar Agrawal, proprietor of Annapurna Sugar Mill.
While Mahalaxmi Sugar Pvt Ltd has paid only Rs 115 million of the Rs 214 million in dues, it is in contact with farmers and has committed to pay outstanding dues. So, the ministry will not take action against it.
Also, Shree Ram Sugar Mills has reached agreement with farmers that it will sell its land to clear outstanding dues of Rs 267 million.
Owners of three other sugar mills — Baba Baijunath Suga