Union Government of India on 23 June 2014 decided to provide additional interest-free loan of up to 4400 crore rupees to sugar mills. The decision is aimed at enabling the cash-starved industry to pay their huge arrears to the farmers of sugarcane.
The government has also decided to hike import duty on sweetener 40 percent from present 15 percent and export duty of 3300 rupees per tonne will be extended till September 2013 to give relief to the sugar industry. At present, the industry is in debt of 11000 crore rupees to cane growers of whom maximum are from Uttar Pradesh.
Apart from this, the efforts of government are on to implement mandatory 5 percent ethanol blending with petrol and subsequently achieve 10 percent blending target. Currently, ethanol blending is not even 2 per cent.
Decisions of granting the interest-free loan and hike in import duty were taken at a high-level meeting called by Ram Vilas Paswan, the Union Food Minister. The meeting was called following the direction of Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister.
Earlier in December 2013, the UPA Government led by the then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh approved 6600 crore Rupees interest-free loans for the sugar industry for clearing the dues/arrears of sugarcane.
Who: Union Government
When: 23 June 2014