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Cabinet okays Rs 3,500 crore sugar export subsidy, to help 5 crore farmers

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New Delhi, Dec 16: The government on Wednesday approved a subsidy of Rs 3,500 crore to sugar mills for the export of 60 lakh tonnes of sweetener during the ongoing marketing year 2020-21 as part of its efforts to help them clear outstanding dues to sugarcane farmers.

Prakash Javadekar

Briefing media after the meeting, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a subsidy of Rs 3,500 crore on exports of 60 lakh tonnes of sweetener and the subsidy amount will directly be given to farmers.

The minister said both "sugar industry as well as sugarcane farmers are in crisis" because of high domestic production at 310 lakh tonnes as against the annual demand of 260 lakh tonnes.

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The decision will benefit 5 crore farmers and 5 lakh workers in various sugar mills. Farmers will get 3 credits- within 1 week farmers will get Rs 5,361 crore, Rs 18,000 crore of export running to be credited to their accounts to the extent of their dues, and Rs 3,500 crore, the subsidy decided today.

In the previous marketing year 2019-20 (October-September), the government provided a lump sum export subsidy of Rs 10,448 per tonne, costing the exchequer Rs 6,268 crore.

Mills exported 5.7 million tonnes of sugar against the mandatory quota of 6 million tonnes set for the 2019-20 season (October-September), according to official data.

Meanwhile, the cabinet also approved revised cost estimate of North Eastern Region Power System Improvement Project for six States for strengthening of the Intra-State Transmission & Distribution Systems.

Main objective of the project is Government's commitment for the total economic development of North Eastern Region and to strengthen the Intra-State Transmission & Distribution Infrastructure in the Region.

Implementation of this scheme will create a reliable power grid and improve NER States' connectivity to the upcoming load centers, and thus extend the benefits of grid connected power to all categories of consumers in North Eastern Region.

Cabinet also gave nod to auction of spectrum in 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz frequency bands, for validity period of 20 yrs. A total of 2251.25 MHz is being offered with total valuation of Rs. 3,92,332.70 crores.

The notice inviting application to be issued this month itself and by March 2021 we propose to hold the auction of these spectrums.

Cabinet Committee on Security gave approval for National Security Directive on Telecommunication Sector. Under this, in order to maintain integrity of supply chain security, Govt will declare a list of trusted sources/products for benefit of telecom service providers.

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    Cabinet approved Central Electricity Regulatory Commission's proposal for entering into a Memorandum of Understanding between Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), India and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), United States of America (USA) for exchange of information and experiences in areas of mutual interest to both in the electricity sectors.

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