Maharashtra: Due to absence of full-fledged cabinet, sugar mills unable to produce ethanol

Pune: The delay in state cabinet formation is affecting ethanol production in Maharashtra. According to the reports, as many as 15 sugar mills in the state who wants to produce ethanol will not be able to go with their plan as they are awaiting clearance from Excise department minister.

Recently, the Central government increased ethanol prices from C heavy molasses from Rs.43.46 per litre to Rs.43.75 per litre, and the cost of ethanol from B heavy molasses hiked from Rs.52.43 per litre to Rs.54.27 per litre. Price of ethanol from sugarcane juice/sugar/sugar syrup route was fixed at 59.48 per litre.

As per the rule the mills have to take permission from the minister of excise to produce ethanol by diverting cane juice to B heavy molasses. The files are pending with the chief minister but will be cleared after the full cabinet is sworn in.

Millers in India are struggling because of unsold stocks. Therefore, the government is focusing on ethanol production to strengthen the financial condition of sugar mills. Experts believe the production of ethanol will aid sugar mills to improve the economic condition as they are struggling with depressed sugar prices, surplus stocks, and piling cane arrears.

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