Sugar Mills should ensure ethanol to oil companies: Pawar

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New Delhi, Dec 22(ANI): Union Agriculture and Food Minister Sharad Pawar on Tuesday appealed to the sugar mills to ensure continuous and adequate supplies of ethanol to the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) not only to make ethanol blending programme a success in India, but also to ensure adequate price for ethanol as well as sugar in all the years.

Addressing the 75th Annual General Meeting of Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) in the national capital, Pawar informed that a broad agreement has emerged on the supply of ethanol and its pricing which will be announced very soon.

He said that only after a successful implementation of five percent ethanol blending programme, that the Government can have the confidence to embark upon a higher percentage of ethanol blending, which may go upto ten percent.

Pawar also said that the Government has already fixed the fair and remunerative price (FRP) of sugarcane for 2009-10 sugar season at Rs.129.84 per quintal, which is more than 50 percent higher than the cost of production and transportation incurred, on an average, by the sugarcane farmers in India.

The FRP is a benchmark price fixed by the Central Government and sugar factories cannot pay a price for sugarcane below this FRP.

He urged the sugar factories to consider paying a reasonably good price to farmers for sugarcane, which should be about 70 percent of the price of sugar received by the mills in view of the current prevailing sugar prices.

Referring to the criticism of the Central Government for having not been able to correctly estimate the production figures for 2008-09 sugar season, the Minister pointed out that the estimation of sugar production is dependent on several factors, including the estimates made by the concerned State Governments as well as the sugar industry itself. (ANI)

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