NSCC urges Centre to evolve new policy on Ethanol

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Tiruchirapalli, May 9 (UNI) The National Sugarcane Commodity Council (NSCC), of the consortium of Indian Farmers Associations today urged the Centre to evolve new policy on Ethanol, as it will benefit the sugarcane growers and the sugar industry in the country.

Addressing a press conference here, Council' s national Convener K Prabhakar Reddy said the government at the instigations of the oil majors and spirit manufacturers had failed to produce ethanol, which has made the sugar cane growers and the sugar industry in the country to suffer.

He said that the Centre should follow the sugar policy of Brazil, as we and Brazil are the largest producers of sugar. Despite of the several commission's, including the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, the Centre did not consider fixing of minimum support price (MSP) for sugarcane. He wanted the Centre to fix Rs 1,250 as MSP for per tonne of sugarcane.

He criticised the Centre's decision on banning export of sugar.

The Government's decision that sugar is an essential commodity was wrong as 55 per cent of sugar went to sweet stalls for manufacturing sweets, 15 per cent for soft drinks and 10 per cent to the bakeries and only 20 per cent was meant for general consumption, including the public distribution system.

Mr Reddy also pointed out that while the government servants were given retrospective benefits when the Pay Commissions recommended higher wages for them, the farmers under the unorganised sector were denied such restrospective benifits.

He took strong exception over the Union Food Ministry's decision of seeking clarifications from the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) on its recent supplementary report, recommending a basic statutory minimum price (SMP) of Rs 125 a quintal plus Rs 30 bonus component payable by the Centre for the 2008-09 sugarcane season.

The Council has decided to conduct a nation wide stir next month, demanding the Government to ensure the value added production by sugarcane growers by establishing a price system mechanism for agricultural produces.

They will also demand for disbursement of loan from the National Sugarcane Development Fund to the sugar cane growers at four per cent interest, he added.

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