FAISALABAD (APP) Hundreds of sugarcane growers complained that due to the carelessness of the sugar mills owners, they have become bankrupt besides facing a number of other difficulties and huge financial losses owing to non-payment of their sugarcane produce. Divisional Farmers Association (DFA) Chief Mian Tahir Saeed while talking to the media here on Sunday said that at least over Rs5.5 billions of the sugarcane growers are outstanding against the sugar mill owners. He alleged that the sugar mill owners were minting money by purchasing their sugarcane crop and utilising their funds for further investment and profit on various accounts while the growers money were not being paid. Elaborating, he said, the sugar mill owners on the basis of claiming huge stocks of sugarcane and manufacturing sugar secured financial facilities of billions of rupees on the pretext of payment of the growers produce. He further contended that the sugarcane growers are running from pillar to post for cashing their Cash Payment Receipts (CPRs) issued by the mill owners in lieu of sugarcane supply by them to the mill owners. He contended that on the basis of CPRs, the farmers acquire loans for payment of their various dues such as installments of the Agriculture Development Bank, Cooperative Bank, Cooperative Organisations, fertilizer and pesticide dealers etc but due to non-encashment of their CPRs, they were facing unbelievable complications and even implication in the criminal cases. He said the non-payment of the produce of the sugarcane growers was a serious and national crime because the growers were unable to cultivate wheat and cotton crops immediately after harvesting of the sugarcane crops for want of funds. He said that although the cane commissioner according to the law was under obligation to look after the interests of the growers and ensure prompt payment of their produce, however, it is pity that he (cane commissioner) is playing the role of silent spectator and has not yet made any concrete effort for releasing the outstanding payments worth over Rs5.5 billions in Faisalabad division alone. It may be noted that in the Faisalabad division, more than 10 sugar mills are operating. When contacted a spokesman of the sugar mill owners association, he conceded that the sugarcane growers amounts were outstanding for payment, adding that their godowns were piled up with sugar but they were not being released in the market. He further claimed that the sugar mill owners were facing financial crunch owing to tough conditions of the banks for releasing funds on short-term basis and lack of buyers for the sale of sugar on cash payment.