New Delhi, August 28
The government today announced Rs 6,268-crore subsidy for export of 6 million tonnes of sugar during the 2019-20 marketing year starting October to liquidate surplus domestic stock and help mills in clearing huge sugarcane arrears to farmers.
The decision taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been welcomed by the industry.Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said the move would benefit millions of farmers in sugarcane growing states. A lump sum export subsidy of Rs 10,448 per tonne would be given to sugar mills in the 2019-20 marketing year (October-September), costing the exchequer Rs 6,268 crore, he said.
The government is providing subsidy for export of 5 MT of sugar for the current marketing year (2018-19). The subsidy would be directly credited into farmers’ accounts on behalf of mills against cane price dues and the balance, if any, would be credited to the mill’s account.In wake of surplus sugar production during 2017-18 (October–September) and 2018-19 seasons, notwithstanding various measures taken by the government, the ensuing sugar season (2019-20) is expected to commence with an opening stock of about 14.2 MT and the season end-stock is expected to be about 16.2 MT.
According to the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), 6 MT of exports will not only reduce the surplus sugar inventory next season, but it will also give additional cash flows to the tune of around Rs.18,000 crore, including the subsidy. This will help the mills reduce carrying costs and interest burden as also help them to pay cane price to farmers on time.
“With an expected global deficit of around 4 MT next year, the timely announcement of India’s export programme with a WTO-compliant export subsidy of Rs 10,448 per tonne will enable Indian millers to ensure 6 MT exports,” said Abinash Verma, ISMA director general. — TNS