INDIA: Farmer payment row brews in TN

Published: 10/12/2017, 1:37:43 PM

N. Palanichamy, director, National Cooperative Sugar Mills, Alanganallur, and president of Tamil Nadu Cane Growers' Association, has sought the intervention of Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao against the management's decision for a "temporary stop payment" order for 31 farmers, according to India's Hindu newspaper.

In a petition, he said the outstanding amount of around INR130 million (US$2 million) due to the farmers was yet to be paid for the cane cut in 2015/16 and 2016/17. The management had come forward to pay a portion of the amount. Meanwhile, Managing Director S. Kandasamy has ordered stop payment to 31 farmers for certain "remarks."

He said the management had not discussed stop payment issue with the farmers' association during the talks. Even the directors were not informed about this. Besides, there was no such resolution.

However, Kandasamy clarified that the order for stop payment was temporary. "The charge against these farmers is that they illegally diverted their cane elsewhere instead of giving it to the factory. So, it has been decided not pay them temporarily," he said.

Palanichamy said that the MD had made several temporary appointments of field officers and workers in the mills without the consent of the board. The appointment when only 50,000 tonnes of sugarcane was to be crushed was unwarranted.

Kandasamy said that very few workers on a temporary basis had been appointed for day-to-day work. "The mills do not have the power for any appointment without the consent of the headquarters. There is no violation of any rules in this factory," he clarified.