Agriculture Industry

Govt brings in transparent method for monthly sugar quota

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28 December 2022, New Delhi: With the aim of ensuring that the monthly domestic sugar release quota is evenly distributed among mills across the country, the Food Ministry has said that the notional stock of the preceding month and sugar diverted for ethanol will be taken into account for allocation of the maximum quantity of white/refined sugar to be sold by each factory from January 2023.

In a letter addressed to all sugar mills, the Food Ministry said, “The stock holding limit for a month will be worked out on the basis of giving 100 per cent weightage to the month-end notional stock of the preceding month. The notional month-end stock for a month would be calculated on the basis of the previous month-end’s actual stock as reported, further adding the sugar lifted from mills since November 1, 2022 and subtracting actual release of the preceding month of the month for which stock holding limit is being issued.”

‘Uniformity ensured’

For the first time, complete uniformity has been maintained and the new methodology will be more effective once the data get compiled through automated software, said an official. The Food Ministry is planning to launch a pilot next month on the data generation at mill-gate through a software which will be eventually shifted to an API module connecting the factory’s software so that real-time data are compiled from across the country, sources said. As of now, the plan is to make the mill enter the data manually within a prescribed deadline.

The Ministry also said that mills will also get benefits in the release of monthly quota for domestic market on the basis their export figures. Besides, incentives in lieu of sugar sacrificed for producing ethanol would also be given to mills.

“Incentive for diversion of sugar towards ethanol production will be calculated as 1 tonne for 1 kilo-litre of ethanol produced from B-Heavy molasses and 1.67 tonne for 1 kilo-litre of ethanol from sugarcane juice and syrup,” the official said. The formula will not be applicable for calculation of sugar recovery, he added.

In a boom market, mills vow for more quota and want less allocation when the market is bearish, said an expert who praised the new methodology adopted by the government. “At least the mill will have an idea about how much quantity they will get. Though there is no basis for assuming the November-end stock for January quota,the cut off date has to be there to roll out the new methodology,” he added.

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