Senior NCP leader Sharad Pawar on Tuesday met Nripendra Mishra, principal secretary to the PM, and called for urgent measures by the Centre to bail out the country’s ailing sugar sector. Prakash Naiknavare, MD, National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories, who was present at the meeting, said maximum sugar needs to be exported to bring stability in prices and the government should double the current subsidy of Rs 55 per tonne.
In the next 18 months, atleast 80-90 lakh tonne sugar needs to be exported and the Centre should encourage raw sugar and exports of whites to neighbouring countries. The members also called for restructuring the existing loans of factories, more financial assistance for making cane payments, fixing ethanol rates at Rs 53 per litre and financial assistance to increase capacities for ethanol production.
The delegation also sought a buffer stock of 50 lakh tonne to prevent a further downslide in prices and bring back the release mechanism for a limited period.