If cooperatives and cooperative leaders do not mend ways, days are not far when they would lose sympathy from all quarters. The case in point is Uttrakhand sugar mills run by cooperatives.
Performing dismally year after year five cooperative sector sugar mills in Uttrakhand have been allotted to Public Private Partnership scheme. Loss of cooperative is gain of PPP model.
On Wednesday the State government decided to close Gadarpur sugarmill on the grounds of economic unviability. The four other sugarmills, till now under cooperatives, were decided to be run on PPP model to improve their financial condition.
The decision to this effect was taken during a meeting of state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, Chief Secretary Alok Kumar Jain told reporters.
There are six sugarmills in cooperative and government sector in the state besides four private sugarmills.
The state government had to bail out these five out of six sugarmills from its budget every year and now the government took the decision on the basis of the recommendations of National Sugar Federation, Jain said.
Regarding Gadarpur sugarmill, which was in cooperative sector, Jain said the mill had lost nearly 80 to 90 per cent of the sugarcane area after it became the part of separate hill state and it is economically unviable to run the mill.
He said the cabinet has also decided to use the assets of the mill for paying dues of the sugarcane farmers and transfer its 150 acres of land to State Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarakhand Limited (SIDCUL).
However, Bajpur sugarmill would not be affected by the government’s decision as its financial condition is good due to operation of a distillery from its compound besides sugarcane crushing, he said.
Jain said the sugarcane area of the mill would be diverted to other sugarmills and its 600 permanent and seasonal workers would also be shifted to other mills. He, however, said in case any worker does not want to be shifted to other places, he would be provided an opportunity to take the advantage of Voluntary Retirement Scheme.
Other four sugarmills– Doiwala, Kichcha, Nadehi and Sitarganj, would be run under PPP mode for which they would be leased out to private companies for 25 to 30 years with the condition that they have to retain all the workers of the mills, Jain said.