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States » North


UP govt to set up ethanol, distillery plants to help sugar industry

UP govt to set up ethanol, distillery plants to help sugar industry

Lucknow, Nov 24 (UNI) Uttar Pradesh government is all set to initiate the process of setting up ethanol and distillery plants from next year for greater commercial viability of the sugar industry.

The ethanol units will not only help in clearing the glut of the sugarcane produced in the state but would also help the sugar industry to clear the arrears of the farmers.

Owing to sugar market glut and falling prices, the domestic sugar companies have been facing cash flow challenges, which had prompted commercial banks to put the sector in the negative list.

To begin with, 24 cooperative sugar mills under UP Cooperative Sugar Federation would be equipped with the additional distillery and power co-generation units so that they were more viable and created more jobs at the local level.

The sugar sector played a major role in UP’s economy which contributed close to Rs 50,000 in rural economy.

Official sources here on Saturday said that state sugar complexes would witness new units producing ethanol directly from sugarcane juice from next year. This would allow mills to plan their production according to market demands and supply matrices to insulate themselves from adverse conditions, such as higher sugar production amid global market glut.

Currently, the petrol fuel in UP is mixed with 10 per cent ethanol due to higher production with a large quantity also supplied to other states.

The Adityanath government, ever since assuming office, is struggling to clear the dues of the sugarcane farmers. The present government not only cleared the dues of the farmers of the Samajwadi party government period but has also cleared the current dues. Nearly 7,000 crore of the last cane season 2017-18 are still pending but are likely to be cleared by the end of November.

The UP sugar mills owe about Rs 6,800 crore sugarcane arrears for the previous season 2017-18. Earlier, the state government had set the deadline of November 30 for mills to settle their arrears. The state government had announced a package of Rs 4,000 crore in the form of soft loan to private mills.

During the current cane season 2018-19, as many as 121 sugar mills will be operational and by November 25, around 119 mills are likely to resume cane crushing. During the current season, the state government has issued 50 new khandsari (unrefined sugar) licenses for the benefit of sugarcane farmers and more licenses would be issued on demand.

UNI MB SV 1220

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