Lucknow: Lockdown imposed amid coronavirus pandemic has increased the financial burden of sugar mills. The sugar mills from Uttar Pradesh owe dues worth Rs 14300 crore and the mills have demanded a bailout package to pay farmers pending arrears.
C B Patodia, president of Uttar Pradesh sugar millers Association has written a letter to the chief minister Yogi Adityanath requesting cash subsidy to help mills clear cane arrears, streamline cash flow and functioning of the mills.
Pointing out that lockdown has increased hardship of sugar sector as sugar sale has dipped he said, “The industries like confectionery, sweet and chocolate and bakery that use sugar have remained shut reducing sugar demand. Mills are unable to clear monthly sugar quota as well.”
“Sugar demand is low. Therefore, mills finding it hard to sell sugar even at the minimum sale price (MSP) fixed by the government. The oil marketing companies are not interested in taking ethanol produced in mills. The power dues worth Rs 1500 crore are pending with Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation (UPPCL),” he further added.
Patodia said, ” In this crisis, the sugar industry is seeking for a bailout to help the largest industry in the state with whom millions of people are directly connected.”
The demand for sugar has been reduced as the industries like cold drinks, ice cream, bakeries and sweet shops are shut due to lockdown. Sugar mills are passing through a challenging time. Apart from this, the mills are unable to find buyers for the by-products of sugar mill including rectified spirit, molasses and extra neutral alcohol (ENA). Adding to their woes, oil marketing companies (OMCs) have reduced offtake of ethanol for blending with petrol.