Cane arrears in 2019-20 reach over Rs 21,000 crore: Food Ministry

May 31 2020

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The prices of sugarcane to be paid by sugar factories in the crushing season of 2019-20 (October-September) rose to over Rs 21,000 crore as on May 28, said the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution on Saturday.

As per the Food Ministry's data, cane arrears in the current sugar season 2019-20 are Rs 17,134 crore on the FRP (Fair and Remunerative Price) basis while it is Rs 21,238 crore on SAP (State Advisory Price) basis as on May 28.

Apart from the current year, the cane dues of sugar season 2018-19 at SAP basis are Rs 815 crore.

The Food Ministry said in statement that various measures have been taken by the Department of Food & Public Distribution for current sugar season 2019-20. The government is reimbursing carrying cost of Rs 1,674 crore towards maintenance of buffer stock of 40 LMT (lakh metric tonne) of sugar.

Besides, assistance at the rate of Rs 10,448/MT is being provided to sugar mills to meet expenses on export of 60 LMT of sugar. The likely expenditure for this will be around Rs 6,268 crore, said the statement.

Also, soft loans of about Rs 18,600 crore are being extended through banks to 362 sugar mills and molasses-based standalone distilleries for enhancement and augmentation of ethanol production capacity, for which an interest subvention of about Rs 4,045 crore for five years is being borne by the government, said the Ministry.

As per the government data, the estimated production of sugar during sugar season 2019-20 is 270 LMT and opening stock as on October 1, 2019 was 145 LMT, hence the total supply of sugar in the season is 415 LMT. While estimated domestic consumption in the year is 240 LMT and estimated export during sugar season 2019-20 is around 50 LMT.

However, the government has allowed the sugar mills to export 60 LMT under Maximum Admissible Export Quantity (MAEQ). Hence, the estimated closing stock at the end of the season on September 30, 2020 is 125 LMT.

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  • IANS