Nitin Gadkari says it’s tough to restructure the loans of the sugar industry
PUNE: Even as the sugarcane industry has been demanding restructuring of the Rs 6000 crore soft loan, union transport minister Nitin Gadkari said that it will be tough as financial institutions are not ready. Instead, he advised sugar mills to increase their revenues by exporting innovative by products.
“We will try. But it is tough,” said Gadkari while speaking at the International Sugarcane Value Chain – vision 2015 conference at the Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI), Pune.
The sugar industry is upset with the various regulations like indirect cap on retail price of sugar, sugarcane price fixation, removal of tax exemptions on ethanol imposed by the government.
Gadkari said that he is trying to get flexi fuel policy as it is not possible to produce ethanol from B-heavy molasses in India unless sugar prices decline to a very low level. “The industry should think about manufacturing bio-chemical and bio-plastic from ethanol. Bio-plastic has been becoming mandatory in the developing world,” he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that his priority would be using “zadi ka tel over the khadi ka tel” (bio-fuel over imported crude oil) to save the foreign exchange India has to spend on importing oil. He had pointed out that the production and consumption of ethanol had gone up by three times in 2015-16. < ..
However, former union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar pointed out that in 2016-17, the participation of sugar mills in ethanol tenders has reduced by 50%. He said that the Prime Minister has invited him to Delhi to find away on ethanol and other issues.
SOURCE: ECONOMIC TIMES