Sugarcane Cess declines by 33 per cent in Sindh

KARACHI - The collection of Sugarcane Development Cess has declined by 33 per cent owing to less production of crop in FY2008-09, official sources told The Nation. The total collection of Sugarcane Development Cess was Rs127.605 million from 10.208 million tons sugarcane crushed by 28 sugar mills during crushing season FY09, showing 33 per cent decline over FY08. In FY08, the provincial government received an impressive amount of Rs191.409 million from 16.819 million tons sugarcane crushed by sugar mills. The government collects 50 paisa as Sugarcane Development Cess on per 40 kg of crushing of sugarcane (25 paisa each from sugar mills and growers share) during sugarcane crushing season of the year, which spends on the development projects of the local areas/district from where it collected. A senior official of the Sindh Agriculture Department attributed the decease to a huge decline in crop production, resulting in shortfall in sugarcane development cess collection during 2008-09. The delay in the beginning of crushing season and late payments of crop by sugar mills owners during last year compelled the farmers to switch over to other crops, like rice, sunflowers and other seasonal crops, was the main reason behind less cultivation of sugarcane in Sindh during FY2008-09, an expert of agriculture said and predicted decline in cultivation of sugarcane crop during this fiscal 2009-10. He said that billion of rupees of farmers were outstanding towards sugar mills that had not been paid for the last few years, while despite having specific laws, the governments were reluctant to take action against these influential sugar mill owners. However, official concerned of the Agriculture Department told The Nation that the estimated revenue of sugarcane development Cess was Rs140 million for 2008-09, but actual collection is Rs127.605 million. He said that at least 10.504 million was still due towards 6 sugar mills, Ansari, Kiran, Sakrand, Serri, Tharparkar and Tando Muhammad Khan in terms of Sugarcane Development Cess outgoing crushing season. According to district wise detail of sugarcane development cess collected from sugar mills in Sindh is, Rs11.745 million from Hyderabad district, Rs2.4 million from Dadu, Rs125 million from Jamshoro, Rs14.310 million in Thatta, Rs23.6 million in Badin, 0.490 million in Sukkur, Rs7.5 million in Kharipur, Rs9.6 in Naushero Feroze, Rs10.395 million in Nawabshah, Rs1.280 million in Ghotki, Rs0.390 million in Larkana, Rs12.505 million in Mirpurkhas, Rs12.825 million in Sanghar, Rs5.110 million in Matiari, Rs14.460 million in Tando Muhammad Khan and Rs11.510m collected from Tando Allahyar District during FY2008-09. Official said that some sugar mills such as Kharipur, Naudero, Ranipur, Larr, Dewan and Shahmurad of Sindh also received sugarcane from Punjab. Meanwhile, Naudero and Dewan Sugar mills also received sugarcane from Balochistan and NWFP during the outgoing crushing season.

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