On the back of higher sugarcane acreage this year and record sugarcane payments during 2016-17 crushing season, Uttar Pradesh
government has projected sugar production
of almost 10 million tonnes (MT) in the coming season.
This would be almost 15 percent higher compared to sugar production
of about 8.75 MT during 2016-17 and total sugarcane payables of Rs 25,386 crore last year.
“During 2017-18 season, we are confident UP sugar output would touch the record level of a crore tonnes (10 MT),” UP sugarcane development and sugar industries minister Suresh Rana
told the media here this afternoon.
He further informed total cane area this season was estimated at 22.99 lakh hectare (LH), up 11.20 percent of 2.45 LH, compared to 20.54 LH in 2016-17. “After coming to power, we have several measures to boost sugarcane production in the state. We had also distributed 60 lakh quintals of good quality sugarcane seed to farmers to improve productivity and sugar recovery.”
However, UP sugar mills are baulked down by over Rs 1,100 crore in sugarcane arrears pertaining to last year. “We have been exerting pressure on mills to settle dues before the start of the next crushing season,” Rana maintained.
He further claimed that it was a feat of sorts for the Yogi Adityanath
government in UP that without filing of police cases or issuance of recovery certificates in 2016-17 season against mill, the millers had settled over 95 percent of their cane dues.
Meanwhile, he said the Yogi government had issued notices to the Wave Group over three defunct mills in Amroha, Saharanpur and Bulandshahar districts, which the company had earlier bought during the previous Mayawati regime (2007-12).
“Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of sale, the Group was mandated not to close down functional mills. However, due to the complicity of the then regime and the private Group, the units were treated as merely real estate and soon rendered defunct. Now, we are reviving these units,” he informed.
Several other defunct mills in the private and cooperative sectors are being revived in the current season, including the Purvanchal (Eastern UP) region. Several of these units would have their crushing capacity increased and also supplemented with cogeneration power plants to augment their financial and commercial viability and long term sustainability.
“The revival of the defunct sugar mills would not only benefit the sugarcane farmers, but create lakhs of jobs for the youth at the local level,” Rana underlined.
He lamented that Purvanchal, which was hitherto referred to as the sugar bowl of India witnessed its mills closing down over the last 15 years due to the alleged apathetic and bad governance under the successive regimes.
Replying to a Business Standard query, the minister said the mills would start their crushing operations by the last week of October and by mid November most of the units would be up and running. In all, 120 mills are likely to participate in the coming crushing season.