Maharashtra sugar commissioner: ‘Liquidity, one-time payment of FRP may pose issues’

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Written by Parthasarathi Biswas
| Pune |

December 3, 2020 8:17:22 am

Maharashtra’s sugar commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad. (File Photo)Maharashtra’s 2020-21 sugarcane crushing season has begun full swing, with 159 sugar mills beginning operations. Unlike Uttar Pradesh, mills in Maharashtra have little or no sugarcane dues to be paid to the farmers though liquidity points proceed to hang-out the sector. The Indian Express spoke to Maharashtra’s sugar commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad in regards to the season and the primary points pertaining to it.
How do you see the 2020-21 cane crushing season panning out? What do you suppose are the primary issues for the mills?
The sugar commissionerate’s estimates present that this 12 months, Maharashtra could be crushing 873 lakh tonnes of cane and produce 99 lakh tonnes of sugar. After a lean 2019-20, this is able to be a 12 months of bumper manufacturing, with all areas reporting good crop. The crop situation can be passable, which is nice information. Till December 1, the state has produced 16.41 lakh tonnes of sugar and crushed 188.71 lakh tonnes of cane. The preliminary restoration is low, however that’s anticipated and would enhance because the season progresses.
Liquidity goes to be a significant concern for mills- as sugar gross sales are sluggish, they’d discover it troublesome to pay the farmers on time. One-time fee of the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) can pose issues for mills. Also, with no readability about sugar exports, mills may not enterprise into abroad shores
Farmers union have requested for one-time fee of FRP, whereas mills are speaking about fee of FRP in instalments. How many mills have entered into agreements with farmers for half fee of FRP? Also would mills who’ve entered into such agreements nonetheless need to pay the curiosity as indicated by the Sugarcane Control Order 1966?
As I mentioned earlier than, one-time fee of FRP can pose an issue for many mills. We do not need the details about mills which have entered into settlement for half fee of FRP The sugarcane management order is clear- mills must pay curiosity on late fee even when they’ve agreements with the farmers for half fee. The solely distinction is that they must pay the curiosity on the half for which fee could be late. In most instances we count on mills would pay 80-70% of the FRP throughout the stipulated interval of 14 days. whereas the remaining quantity could be paid later. Now, they must pay curiosity solely on the remaining quantity.
What about ethanol manufacturing? Do you see mills fulfilling their dedication in the direction of diversion of cane in the direction of ethanol than sugar?
As per discussions with mills, we really feel round 110 crore litres of ethanol could be manufactured this season. A majority of the mills could be manufacturing the gasoline additive from B-heavy molasses, which is a welcome pattern. Most mills have indicated their readiness about tie ups with oil advertising firms to produce ethanol.
The season is beginning underneath the shadows of the Covid-19 pandemic. You have requested mills to arrange for the unfold of the an infection by guaranteeing they’ve both devoted Covid care centres or tie-ups with hospitals. What has been the response of the mills to this?
Most mills have tied up with personal hospitals of their neighborhood to arrange devoted Covid care centres. Some have additionally arrange such amenities of their premises. All mills have performed the obligatory well being camp for the migratory employees. earlier than they set about their work. The employees are remoted anyway, given the character of their work, so possibilities of a mass unfold of an infection are comparatively much less.
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