New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved an Rs 5,538-crore package as part of a comprehensive policy for the sugar industry to deal with the surplus domestic stock and help mills clear dues of cane growers. The policy seeks to offset the cost of cane crushed and provide transport subsidy for sugar export to help the industry improve its liquidity to clear the dues. Addressing the media here, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the policy’s objective is to deal with the excess sugar due to higher production in the coming season.
“One of the points (of the policy) talks about providing assistance to sugar mills by defraying expenditure towards internal transport, freight handling, and other charges to facilitate export during the sugar season (2018-19),” he said. “Another one is to provide assistance to sugar mills at the rate of Rs 13.88 per quintal of cane crushed during the 2018-19 season to offset the cost of cane itself.”
The total expenditure to clear cane dues and transport subsidy would be Rs 4,163 crore and Rs 1,375 crore, respectively. Assistance amount under both heads would be credited directly into the farmers’ accounts to ensure payment of sugarcane dues by the mills, and if there is any subsequent balance it would be credited into mills’ accounts, as per a release. Assistance would be provided to those mills which fulfill the eligibility conditions as decided by the government. (IANS)