Union Cabinet approves Rs 3,500 cr package for sugarcane farmers

New Delhi: The Centre has declared a subsidy of Rs 3,500 crore for the export of 60 lakh tonne of sugar in the current sugar season 2020-21 (October-September).

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the financial assistance of nearly Rs 3,500 crore for sugarcane farmers (Ganna Kisan), said an official statement.

Briefing about the decisions taken by the Union Cabinet, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said the CCEA has approved a subsidy of Rs 3,500 crore for export of 60 lakh tonne of sugar and the amount of subsidy would be directly transferred to the farmers.

The sugar production in the current season is estimated at nearly 310 lakh tonne while the domestic consumption is nearly 260 lakh tonne for the current year, therefore domestic price is low, said the Minister.

At present, there are nearly five crore sugarcane farmers (Ganna Kisan) dependent upon it across the country. In addition to this, there are nearly five lakh workers employed in the sugar mills, ancillary activities and their livelihood depends on the sugar industry.

The farmers sell their sugarcane to the sugar mills, however the farmers are not getting their dues from the sugar mill owners as they have surplus sugar stock. To address this concern, the Union government is facilitating the evacuation of surplus sugar stock. This would enable payment dues of the sugarcane farmers. The government would incur an expenditure of nearly Rs 3,500 crore for this purpose and this financial assistance would be directly credited into farmers’ accounts on behalf of sugar mills against cane price dues and the subsequent balance would be credited to the mill’s account, said the statement.

This subsidy aims at covering expenses on marketing costs, including handling, upgrading and other processing costs, and costs of international and internal transport and freight charges on export of upto 60 Lakh Metric Tonnes (LMT) of sugar limited to Maximum Admissible Export Quota (MAEQ) allocated to sugar mills for sugar season 2020-21.

This decision would benefit five crore sugarcane farmers and their dependents, as well as five lakh workers employed in the sugar mills and related ancillary activities.

(IANS)

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