Maharashtra government announces incentive of Rs 200 per ton to sugar mills that kept crushing units beyond May 1

Amid the move to increase sugar production to help farmers whose produce is still in the fields, the Maharashtra government on Tuesday announced an incentive of Rs 200 per ton to sugar mills where milling has taken place above- beyond May 1.

The sugar mills will be allowed to operate until the crushing of excess sugar cane is complete, government officials said. The area under sugarcane has increased this year by 2.25 lakh hectares. As a result, sugarcane production also increased.

The decision was taken by the state government in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and attended by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, Cooperation Minister Balasaheb Patil, Agriculture Minister Dadasaheb Bhuse, Health Minister Rajesh Tope, Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh and other officers.

After the meeting, Patil said, “The additional incentive of Rs 200 per ton will burden the Treasury with Rs 100 crore. It is expected that the crushing of sugarcane after May 1, 2022 could have reached 52 lakh tons.

“Sugar cane that is taken from fields beyond 50 km for crushing will receive an additional incentive of Rs 5 per km,” Patil said.

In 2021-22, the area under sugar cane was 13.67 lakh hectare. In 2020-2021, the area under sugar cane was 11.42 lakh hectare. Compared to last year, the area sown to sugarcane this season saw an increase of 2.25 lakh hectare.

According to official records, as of the end of May 16, 2022, nearly 100 cooperative mills and 99 private mills, in addition to 199 sugar mills, have completed the crushing of 1,300 lakh tons of sugarcane. Districts where sugarcane crushing is still incomplete include Beed, Jalna, Ahmednagar, Latur, Osmanabad.

Rachel J. Bradford