Stop sugar, go for ethanol: Nitin Gadkari to Sugar mills
Union minister for road transport Nitin Gadkari has urged sugar mills to switch to ethanol production considering the excess sugar production in the country. Gadkari said the price of Indian sugar was much higher in international market and at the same time, domestic consumption has come down.
“Price of Brazil sugar is Rs 22 a kg, while Indian sugar is Rs 34 per kg. How will we compete? Sugar factories must understand the ground reality and switch over to production of ethanol,” he said. Gadkari warned that sugar factories would not survive if they did not transform. “We are concerned about cane growing farmers. They will have to burn cane if factories closed down”, he said.
Gadkari said the central government had sanctions Rs 6,000 crore subsidies for export of sugar but India still has stock of 60 lakh tonne of sugar, which was enough to the requirement for two years. He added that the government has formulated a separate ethanol policy. Ethanol economy is currently Rs 20,000 crore which we want to take up to Rs 1 lakh crore, he said, adding that government is ready to purchase all the ethanol, produced by the sugar factories.