The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday stayed a Rs 28 crore recovery notice the Punjab government has slapped on a Gurdaspur sugar mill.
The high court bench of justice RK Jain directed that in case the the petitioner’s godown had already been locked, the government should open it immediately.
The petition was filed by Chadha Sugar Mill, Gurdpaspur, stating that the government had decided that all private sugar mills would disburse cane price at Rs 245 per quintal to cane growers for the 2015-2016 season and the balance agreed price of Rs 50 per quintal was to be disbursed either by the state or the Centre to farmers.
However, the mill was slapped a recovery notice of Rs 28 crore earlier this month at the rate of Rs 50 per quintal to be disbursed by the government. In the notice, the mill was asked to pay up by September 10 and another notice was slapped on September 19 to pay up or the government would make recovery as “arrears of land revenue” under the Revenue Recovery Act, 1890.
The court was told that the mill cannot be burdened for the amount to be paid by the government and that it (government) was resorting to arm-twisting methods and was threatening to lock the mill and godown. The court has sought the government’s response by October 5.
Punjab had decided to seal all seven private sugar mills, including the one owned by the petitioner. As per the government, the millers owe it Rs 223 crore. The government had decided to pay Rs 50 per quintal subsidy if the market sugar price was Rs 2,600 per quintal or less.