The state government has been granted time till April 15 by the Bombay high court to disburse the subsidy of Rs21crore, pending for the last two years, to two grain-based distilleries.
While replying to the petitions filed by Anand Distilleries Pvt Ltd in Amravati and Grainotch Industries Ltd in Aurangabad earlier, the state government had assured the court that adequate provision for disbursing subsidies to foodgrain-based distilleries would be made in the forthcoming budget. Though, the state owes Rs39.43 crore to seven grain-based distilleries since November 2008, no provision for it has been made in the budget presented before the state legislature on Wednesday. The aspect was pointed out by the counsel for distilleries, Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, to the division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice DG Karnik on Thursday.
Additional government pleader Rajesh Behere, argued that the provision for disbursement of pending dues could be made in the supplementary budget in the monsoon session of the assembly and the pending dues could be disbursed by the end of August.
As per Kumbhakoni’s petition, the subsidy amount – Rs10 per litre – was the only incentive to set up foodgrain-based distilleries. The petition added that the non-payment of dues had forced Anand Distilleries to keep its production unit closed for the last two months. “Why don’t you understand that you are getting revenue out of this?” the judges asked the government pleader.