ISMA demands hike in ethanol price, sugar MSP

New Delhi: The Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), the apex body representing the sugar industry, has called for hike in prices of ethanol produced from sugarcane juice/syrup raising it to Rs 69.85 per liter.

In addition, ISMA has urged the government to establish a long-term policy and pricing formula for ethanol. These measures, ISMA contends, will incentivize mills to augment their production capacity by approximately 400 crore liters of ethanol by 2025, ultimately achieving a 20% blending ratio with petrol.

ISMA has also pressed for an increase in the minimum selling price of sugar, proposing it be raised to Rs 38 per kilogram from the current rate of Rs 31 per kilogram, citing escalating production costs.

During an interaction with the media, Aditya Jhunjhunwala, President of the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), emphasized that the industry requires an investment of approximately Rs 17,500 crore to increase production capacity from the current 700 crore liters to 1,100 crore liters of ethanol. He noted that the industry currently operates at an 80% capacity utilization rate and stressed the necessity of a comprehensive long-term ethanol pricing policy to facilitate this substantial investment.

Jhunjhunwala also stated that ISMA plans to release a fresh estimate of sugar production for the 2023-24 marketing year (October-September) next month. This estimate will be based on an analysis of satellite imagery of sugarcane cultivation across major producing states, allowing ISMA to assess whether there is any surplus available for export after meeting domestic sugar and ethanol demands.

The ISMA President suggested that the government should formulate a pricing formula for ethanol blending with petrol, one that is commensurate with the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane.


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