Sugarcane growers meet at Bangalore for 3-day conference from today

The sugarcane farmers all over the country have welcomed the proposals to free the sugarmills from the levy sugar obligation and also to dispense with the quantitative restrictions imposed on the latter, according to R.V. Giri, Tamil Nadu State general secretary of the Consortium of Indian Farmers’ Associations (CIFA).

Mr. Giri told The Hindu that the sugarcane growers from across the country would gather at Bangalore for a three-day conference starting from May 24 to discuss the recommendations of the C. Rangarajan Committee on sugar liberalisation policy.

“The recommendations on sugar levy and quantitative restrictions have been widely welcomed by the sugarcane farmers as well as the sugarmills because they feel that it would ease the liquidity situation which in turn would help in the prompt payment for sugarcane.”

Mr. Giri said that the levy obligation of setting aside 10 per cent of sugar production for the Public Distribution System had financially inconvenienced the sugarmills. For instance, they had to make available sugar at the price of Rs. 13.50 a kg to the PDS against the production cost of Rs. 19.20 per kg.

The total financial outgo on this score alone would be in the region of Rs. 3,000 crore a year. Besides this, the sugarmills were also hamstrung over the existing system of regulating the sale of sugar in the open market.

Once these stumbling blocks were out of the way, the sugarmills would have substantial money at their disposal which they could utilise for the development of their mills and also for disbursement of the cane payment.

In appreciation of these two suggestions, Mr. Rangarajan, former Governor of Reserve Bank of India and currently Chairman, Economic Advisory Committee to the Prime Minister, would be honoured on the occasion, Mr. Giri said. The national event would also discuss other issues relating to sharing of the proceeds obtained from sale of sugar and by-products such as molasses and bagasse between the sugarmills and the cane growers.

Mr. Giri further said that the conference would also focus on how to capture the competitive international sugar markets, besides adequately meeting the domestic requirements.

In this aspect, the conference would lay stress on the importance of convergence of activities of the sugarcane farmers, the cooperative sugar mills and the Indian Sugarmill Owners Association, Mr. Giri added.

  • Conference to stress on convergence of activities

  • C. Rangarajan to be honoured