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The Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) has requested the government to expedite the sugar export policy, stating that at least eight million tonnes of exports are necessary in the sugar marketing season 2022-23.
Speaking at an event organised by ISMA, Vivek Pittie, Director, Harinagar Mills in Mumbai and a member of ISMA, said the industry body believes the government should allow any of the prevalent systems for sugar exports.
"The sugar export policy can adopt either the system that was prevalent in season 2020-21 or under the Open General License (OGL) system prevalent in season 2021-22," he said.
"Both systems have been tested and proved to be successful. Our humble submission is that you do not try your third system and do not experiment with it. Export of eight million terms of the commodity is very important for the sugar industry," he added. Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey attended the event.
In the 2021-22 marketing year ending September, the Centre has allowed 1.2 million tonnes (MT) of sugar exports, over and above the 10 MT already fixed, due to higher-than-anticipated domestic production.
Burgeoning output has led to a glut of sugar and growing clamour for exports among mills. Production in the current year (2021-22) is estimated to have been over 36 MT, against an initial expectation of 35 MT.
Earlier this year, ISMA had estimated that India’s sugar production in the 2022-23 season (October to September) was expected to be even higher, at around 39.97 MT.
Need flex-fuel cars
Pittie also urged the government to expedite the introduction of flexible fuel vehicles. ISMA believes this will be key to achieve the target of 20 per cent ethanol blending by 2025 and has requested easing pollution norms if required.
Flexible-fuel or dual-fuel vehicles are alternative-fuel vehicle with an internal combustion engine designed to run on more than one fuel--usually gasoline blended with either ethanol or methanol fuel. Both fuels are stored in the same common tank.
"This provides a safety net in case there is a shortfall of ethanol from grains this can be made up by having additional manufacturing capacity. The second advantage is that in case if sugar exports become unviable in certain years, it can be converted to ethanol." Pittie said.
The industry wants a remunerative price to offset the capital costs involved and to ensure a return on investment.
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First Published: Wed, September 21 2022. 17:55 IST