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Mumbai: As sugar mills in Maharashtra have been facing issues with depressing sugar prices, surplus stocks and piling cane arrears, Government is emphasising on ethanol production to strengthen the financial condition of sugar factories and to help them to clear cane arrears.
According to the reports, the Maharashtra government is planning a proposal to invest in distilleries being set up by sugar mills in the state to convert sugarcane juice to ethanol.
Recently, Maharashtra sugar commissioner, Mr. Shekhar Gaikwad has furnished a proposal to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis proposing assistance of promotion of ethanol production from sugarcane juice in the state and request of support from the Government. In a furnished proposal, it has been recommended that state government will contribute 30 per cent of the fund through grants, sugar mills will give 10 per cent, and other 60 per cent will be raised from the financial institutions and banks.
Soon, the proposal will be presented to the state Cabinet for its approval.
The Central Government has the vision to achieve 20 per cent ethanol blending with petrol by the next decade. The first milestone of 10 per cent of ethanol blending with petrol is on a verge to be achieved next year as already hit 5% has been accomplished this year where 150 crore litres is currently available.
Gaikwad has also advocated that the state government create a separate Rs 500 crore fund to assist sugar mills that want to either set up an ethanol production facility or expand the current one.