Govt calls meet today to discuss NITI Aayog recommendations on sugar

Informist, Tuesday, Apr 6, 2021


By Preeti Bhagat


NEW DELHI – The government has called a meeting of a high-power committee today to discuss the recommendations of a NITI Aayog task force on the sugarcane and sugar industry, a source close to the development said.


"This is the second and final meeting. We are meeting at 1100 IST today and things will be put on fast track. PMO (Prime Minister's Office) has asked the committee to deliberate and come out with an action plan," he told Informist.


The high power committee comprises 12 secretaries, including Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey, Farm Secretary Sanjay Agarwal, Petroleum Secretary Tarun Kapoor, and Finance Secretary Ajay Bhusan Pandey. It also includes Indian Sugar Mills Association Director General Abinash Verma, National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories Managing Director Prakash Naiknavare, and the cane commissioners of major sugarcane producing states.


The committee has to recommend the implementation of the recommendations of the NITI Aayog task force, based on the policy decisions that would be initiated from the Prime Minister's Office.


Among the 14 major recommendations, the task force had suggested a one-time increase in minimum selling price of sugar to 33 rupees per kg from the current 31 rupees to help mills cover the cost of production, including interest and maintenance costs.

The task force also recommended shifting some area under sugarcane cultivation to less water-intensive crops by providing suitable incentives to farmers, as well as linking sugarcane prices to prices of sugar to keep the industry in sound financial health.

"The revenue sharing formula needs to be introduced, with a Price Stabilisation Fund to protect farmers from receiving prices below the fair and remunerative price. While the scientific formula suggested by the Rangarajan Committee could be considered, the prices of sugarcane may need to be adjusted slightly upwards keeping in view the improvement in recovery rates in the last few years," the task force said in a report.  End


IST, or Indian Standard Time, is five-and-a-half hours ahead of GMT


Edited by Avishek Dutta


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