18 May 2022, New Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday ordered sugar mills to not stop operations till all sugarcane in the State is crushed. He announced a crushing grant of ₹200 per tonne to sugar mills that have crushed sugarcane after May 1. The State has excess sugarcane on over 2.25 lakh hectares compared with last year’s sugarcane production.
₹100 crore burden
State Co-operative Minister Balasaheb Patil told the media in Mumbai that the government’s decision followed the meeting held by the Chief Minister with the sugar mills.
According to the statement issued by the State government, the decision to provide grant of ₹200 per tonne for crushing excess sugarcane will impose a burden of about ₹100 crore on the State coffers. The State expects that about 52 lakh tonnes of sugarcane will be crushed after May 1 out of which 32 lakh tonnes have already been crushed. The Minister said mills will also get ₹5 per tonne for the sugarcane transported from more than 50 km distance.
As per the State government’s data sugarcane has been cultivated in over 13.67 lakh hectares in 2021-22 compared with 11.41 lakh hectares in 2020-21. By May 16, 2022, about 100 co-operative and 99 private sugar mills have crushed 1300.62 lakh tonnes of sugarcane. Every day mills are crushing additional sugarcane of about 55,920 tonnes. Last year 1,013.31 lakh tonne of sugarcane was crushed by this time. This year mills have crushed 287.31 lakh tonnes of additional sugarcane.
Badly hit districts
Beed, Jalna, Ahmednagar, Latur, and Osmanabad are districts in the State where the problem of excess sugarcane is serious.
The State machinery is worried about the consequences if the excess sugarcane is not crushed. Recently a sugarcane farmer from Beed committed suicide as mills were not taking his sugarcane for crushing.