Two major sugar producing states Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh (UP) have performed moderately in the current sugar season(SS) beginning from 1st October 2015 to 29th February 2016. Over all Indian sugar mills have produced 199.47 lac tons of sugar, as compared to 195.58 lac tons produced during the same period in 2014-15 SS.
According to ISMA, during the current 2015-16 SS, out of 513 sugar mills which started operations, 107 have shut their operations by 29th February 2016. Last year, out of 517 sugar mills which were in operation between 1st October and 28th Feb. 2015, 13 had shut their operations.
ISMA said, “In Maharashtra, 177 sugar mills have produced 70.40 lac tons of sugar till the end of February 2016, as against 74.78 lac tons produced in 2014-15 SS on the corresponding date. Nearly 71 sugar mills in the state have stopped their crushing operations by 29th February 2016 due to non-availability of cane in their respective areas.”
About 60 of these 71 mills, which have closed their operations for the season, are from rain deficit areas of Maharashtra viz. Marathwada areas and Sholapur. Last year, only 3 three sugar mills had stopped crushing by 28th February 2015.
The Centre had a meeting with Chief Minister as well as the Cooperation Minister of Maharashtra and briefed them about the lackadaisical performance of fulfillment of export quota by Maharashtra mills. Subsequently, the state government had a meeting with the sugar mills of the state wherein it was decided that the mills who export 12 percent of the current season’s production will be entitled to exemption of state purchase tax on sugarcane. In Maharashtra, sugar mills are required to pay purchase tax at the rate 3 percent on FRP, which works out to around Rs. 9 per quintal of sugarcane.
“Notification to this effect is however, awaited. It is, therefore, expected that the mills will now be more willing to fulfill their export quotas. Meanwhile, out of 11.15 lac tons of export quota fixed by the Government of India, the mills in Maharashtra have reportedly contracted for around 4 lac tons of exports,” ISMA said..
Regarding Uttar Pradesh ISMA said, “ Nearly 116 sugar mills had started operations during 2015-16 SS, of which 13 have closed. Till 29th February 2016, sugar mills have produced 53.65 lac tons of sugar, as against 49.59 lac tons produced during the same period in 2014-15 SS. Last year, of the 118 sugar mills which operated, 6 mills had shut their operations by 28th February 2015.”
In Karnataka 64 sugar mills were in operation in Karnataka and they produced 36.07 lac tons of sugar upto 29th February 2016. This is 2.96 lac tons higher than what they produced upto 28th February 2015 in the last 2014-15 SS. 16 sugar mills have shut their operations by 29th February 2016, as compared to 3 sugar mills which had stopped crushing on 28th February 2015.