16 December 2022, New Delhi: The Centre will assess the overall production of sugar and its demand scenario next month to decide if the additional quantity of the commodity can be released for export beyond the 60 lakh tonnes (lt) approved until May 31.
This comes amid the prospect of over 400 lt of sugar production (including the quantity that will be diverted to ethanol) in current sugar season to September.
“We will take a call in January as crushing is in full swing now,” said Sanjeev Chopra, Food Secretary, when asked if the Government is considering releasing additional sugar export quota.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) annual general meeting, he said the situation is comfortable and the production is likely to exceed 410 lt in the current season.
The Centre, on November 5, permitted the export of 60 lt of sugar, while continuing the export policy through permits.
Chopra said ethanol blending is likely to be 12 per cent in the current ethanol year (December-November) after the country achieved a 10 per cent blending target in the last season.
The Government aims to increase the blending to 15 per cent in 2023-24 season.
Earlier, he said the Government’s subsidised interest scheme on bank loans has been extended to create an ethanol production capacity of 650 crore litres, of which firms having a capacity of 350 crore litres are already operational.
The Food Secretary urged the sugar industry to look beyond conventional sugar and try to produce the products which consumers demand. “The first message I’d like to give is to go beyond conventional sugar. We are not actually giving as much focus to refined sugar, speciality sugar, sugar for particular sectors…What is required is that we need to produce what the customer wants,” he said.
“For instance, for the beverages industry why would you need to produce crystal sugar when probably what they need is liquid sugar,” he wondered.
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