UP government announces slew of measures for sugar mills, cane farmers
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday announced a slew of measures for sugar cane farmers and set November 30 as the deadline for private sugar millers to settle cane dues.
“The decision will directly benefit about 40 lakh sugarcane farmers in Uttar Pradesh. The state government has set November 30 deadline for mills to settle arrears and allocated Rs 5,535 crore in the budget for it,” Yogi told media persons in Lucknow after the state cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
He said besides a grant of Rs 500 crore, a provision of Rs 4,000 crore had been made to provide soft loan to sugar mills to tide over the arrears.
Yogi said Uttar Pradesh topped in sugar cane production in the country and the next crushing season would also start by the end of October.
“About 42 mills have achieved the payment ratio of more than 50 per cent while nine others have the payment ratio of less than 50 per cent,” he said.
The state cabinet approved the incentive of Rs 4.50 per quintal to mills for easing their payment ratios. This would put an additional burden of Rs 5 billion on the exchequer.
However, this amount would be directly transferred to the farmers’ accounts.
Lauding Ayushaman health scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Yogi said it was the world’s largest health insurance scheme and would provide insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh annually to country’s 50 million people.
“Villagers who had never seen electricity would now get power connections for the first time after Independence under the Saubhagya Scheme,” he said, adding that about 4 crore free electricity connections would be made available under the scheme.
Announcing a soft loan scheme for mill owners, Yogi said it would be offered for five years and attract 5 per cent interest. However, the defaulting mills would have to cough up interest payment at the rate of 12 per cent, he added.
Of the total 94 private sector mills in UP, 63 had achieved good payment ratio of 73-80 per cent, he said, adding these units had assured they would settle the remaining component soon.
Yogi said the state government would support private mills desirous of producing ethanol directly from cane juice to diversify beyond sugar.
“The Centre has already increased ethanol prices to encourage private producers. The state government had earlier sent a proposal to this effect to the Centre, which has been accepted,” he claimed.