Centre de-licenses sugar industry to set up new sugar mills
The Union Government has de-licensed the sugar industry to encourage the setting up of new sugar mills in the country.
This was informed by Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal during a reply to supplementaries in the Lok Sabha.
The Minister that the government is encouraging sugar mills to divert excess sugarcane to ethanol blended with petrol a long-term measure to deal with the problem of excess sugar.
Significance- This will not only serve as a green fuel but also save foreign exchange on account of crude oil import. Around 21 lakh tonnes of excess sugarcane was diverted to ethanol in 2020-21, as per ISMA.
The Union Minister informed the lower house of the Parliament that in the past three sugar seasons 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, around Rs 22,000 crore revenue was generated by sugar mills and distilleries from the sale of ethanol to oil marketing companies.
He stated that during the normal sugar season from October to September, the production of sugar in the country is around 320-330 lakh metric tonnes (LMT), as against the domestic consumption of 260 LMT. Hence, there is a lot of excess production of sugar in the country.
Sugar Production in India
•The sugar production in India is estimated to remain steady at 310 lakh tonnes during Financial Year 2021-22, as per the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA)
•The total coverage area for sugarcane is estimated to be around 54.55 lakh hectares in 2021-22, which is about 3 percent higher than the sugarcane coverage area of around 52.88 lakh hectares in 2020-2021.
•The total sugar production is estimated to be around 344 lakh tonnes during the 2021-22 marketing year, without the diversion of cane juice and molasses into ethanol.
•The ethanol manufactured from sugarcane juice is expected to be around 230 crore litres.