Sharad Pawar writes to PM, seeks relief for sugar industry

Sharad Pawar

Sharad Pawar   | Photo Credit: PTI

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Friday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding immediate relief to the sugar industry. He, however, expressed disappointment over the ‘Atmanirbhar Agricultural Package’ announced on Friday saying it had no word on restructing agri loans, moratorium on loans and reduction in interest rates for farmers.

“There is no clarity on financial aid for the ensuing kharif season and also no relief for losses incurred by horticultural crop growers. This announcement appears like a Five Year Plan and not a relief package as publicised,” he said.

The former Union agriculture minister also sought provision of funds for clearing export incentives and buffer stock expenses pending since 2018-19 and 2019-20.

Other demands included, increasing MSP of sugar ranging from ₹3,450 to ₹3,750 with grade wise increment; provision of one time grant of ₹650 per tonne on average cane crushed during the last two years; conversion of outstanding working capital into short term loan and rescheduling all term loans for 10 years with a moratorium of two years on the lines of the Mitra Committee recommendations; rating sugar mills’ distilleries as Strategic Business Units ( SBUs); and finance from banks, on standalone basis, for ethanol projects sanctioned under the interest subvention capex scheme announced by the Centre in 2018.

On Friday morning, Mr. Pawar also held a meeting with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and senior ministers from the State cabinet about the possible extension of lockdown from May 17 to May 31. The meeting discussed possible relaxations to be offered, and how to impose restrictions in red and containment zones.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 5:59:38 PM |

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