new Delhi. A Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday recommended raising the minimum sale price (MSP) of sugar mills by Rs 2 to Rs 33 per kg. The aim is to ensure that these mills are able to pay their pending cane dues of about Rs 20,000 crore at the earliest. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal were present in the meeting. Sources said that the Group of Ministers took stock of the pending cane arrears to be paid by the sugar mills, which is around Rs 20,000 crore so far in the current 2019-20 season (October-September).
It was also discussed in the meeting how the sugar mills can ensure the payment of this dues at the earliest. One of the proposals discussed was also to increase the minimum selling price (MSP) of sugar. Sources said that the Group of Ministers directed the Food Ministry to bring a cabinet note with a proposal to increase the minimum sale price of sugar as per the recommendation of NITI Aayog. He said that if the increase in MSP of sugar does not help in reducing the cane arrears of farmers, the government will consider other options. A Task Force constituted by the NITI Aayog on sugarcane and sugar industry had recommended a one-time increase in sugar MSP by Rs 2 per kg. Last year, the government increased the price at which sugar mills sell sugar to wholesale buyers. At that time, this MSP was increased to Rs 31 per kg at the rate of Rs 2 per kg. According to government statistics, sugar mills have purchased sugarcane worth about Rs 72,000 crore from farmers during the 2019-20 season (October-September). Out of that, about Rs 20,000 crore is yet to be paid to the farmers.
This post was published on July 15, 2020 11:15 pm
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