The Maharashtra Regulation of Sugarcane Price (Supplied to Factories) Act, 2013

http://www.indiansugar.com/PDFS/State_Acts.pdf

As the name suggests this Act was passed to regulate the prices of Sugarcane which is supplied to the factories and is applicable only to the state of Maharashtra.  

Section 2 lists important definitions of the Act like ‘factory’, ‘Occupier of factory’, ‘Sugar season’ etc. The word ‘State’ in the Act refers to the Indian State of Maharashtra and ‘Factory’ is defined as a sugar factory where electricity is used for production of sugar and the strength of workers is 20 or more. Sugar season is defined starting from month of October and ending on 13th day of September of the next year.  

Section 3 specifies the formation of a Sugarcane Control Board (with jurisdiction throughout Maharashtra) immediately after the commencement of this Act. The Chief Secretory of the State will act as the Chairman of the Board and Secretary of Finance, Co-operation and Agriculture as its members. The Board will also have representatives from the sugar factories and farmer community. 

The Board will meet thrice in a year; at beginning and end of the crushing season and at the end of sugar season. 

Section 4 enlists the function of the board. They are: 

  • Decide a fair price of sugarcane payable to the farmers, also called FRP or Fair and Remunerative Price. 
  • Provide advice on any matter related to this Act. 
  • Look out for breached cases pertaining to any rule or regulation under this Act. 
  • Recommend ways to build a healthy relation between cane growers and factory owners.  

Section 5 says that the payment for cane supplied, as per FRP, has to be made within 14 days from the time of delivery at the factory. It further mentions the following: 

  • Every payment will be through bank account only. 
  • Payment would be based on the recorded weight of cane at factory. 
  • The payment will be in two steps: 
  1. Payment of FRP. 
  1. Payment of balance will be after half yearly ex-mill prices and values.  

As per Section 6, violation of rules and regulation of this Act is an offence and the punishment may include fine extending up to 25,000 INR.  

Section 7 mentions that only the officers authorised by the Sugar Commissioner shall report the matters to a court not less than first class Judicial Magistrate for cognizance of the offense.   

Section 8 (1) mentions that the person would get a fair chance to be heard before any proceedings, and will be liable to pay a fine as determined by the Officer. And as per Section 8 (2), no further proceedings will happen after the payment of the fine.  

Section 9 (1) says that in case of any offence committed by a company: 

  • Every person who is present at the time of offence and is in-charge or responsible for company’s conduct is liable and should be punished. 
  • The person may be proved not guilty if it is proved that the offense took place without his/her knowledge or s/he did the best to prevent it. 

Section 9 (2) says that the director, manager, secretary or any other officer can also be held guilty if it is proved that the offense occurred with their consent or neglect.  

Section 10 clarifies that each and every officer appointed for this Act, including the Sugar Commissioner, will be public servants.  

Section 11 says that no legal proceedings will take place for any action taken by the Government (or any officer) having good faith for enactment of this Act.  

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