Maharashtra government guarantees rupee 28 million loans to two sugar factories | Bombay News

MUMBAI: The cash-strapped state government with debts of over Rs 6 lakh crore guaranteed loans worth Rs 28 crore to two sugar factories controlled by Congressional and NCP politicians.
The state guaranteed a loan worth Rs 10 crore to the Rajgad cooperative sugar factory in Pune district controlled by Congressman Sangram Thopte and the other loan worth Rs 18 crore to the Sahakar Shiromani Vasantrao Kale sugar factory in Pandharpur controlled by former MP Kalyan Kale who recently switched from BJP to NCP. The warranty was only extended for a period of one year.
“The pre-seasonal loan guarantees have been extended keeping in mind that the other factories in Pandharpur have not performed well and that the one in Pune is located quite far from the other factories,” said a senior official.
Last year, the MVA government provided guarantees for loans worth Rs 516 crore to 32 sugar factories. The government said that cooperative sugar factories were struggling to obtain loans from cooperative banks after the application of new Nabard guidelines, which required the borrower to have a positive net disposable resource.
Officials said, however, that only seven of the 32 factories had received the guarantee given last year because conditions were too stringent. The Rajgad factory had also received a guarantee for a loan of 12 million rupees last year.
Sugar factories take out pre-seasonal loans before the grinding season in October to overhaul machinery and provide labor advances for harvesting and transportation.
When the MVA government took power in November 2019, it canceled guarantees on loans given by the former BJP-led government to sugar cooperatives. Sugar and politics are deeply intertwined in Maharashtra, with sugar barons rising to become chief ministers and cabinet ministers. Several leaders of Congress, NCP and BJP control the factories.

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