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Tuesday, July 31, 2001

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Incentives offered for sugar export

By Our Staff Correspondent

MYSORE, JULY 30. The Union Government has offered incentives to sugar factories in the country which come up with proposals to export sugar.

The Union Minister of State for Public Distribution and Consumer Grievances, Mr. V. Sreenivasa Prasad, told presspersons here on Monday that the Centre would bear the transportation expenses incurred by the sugar factories exporting sugar.

Last year, 11 lakh tonnes of sugar was exported from India, which is presently the biggest producer of sugar in the world. During 2000-01, the country produced 181 lakh tonnes of sugar against the consumption of 162 lakh tonnes. The country would maintain its top position during the next two years as well, Mr. Prasad said.

Apart from the 181 lakh tonnes of sugar produced last year, 93 lakh tonnes of sugar had been carried over from the previous year, he said. Out of the total 274 lakh tonnes of sugar, 162 lakh tonnes was consumed, leaving a surplus of 112 lakh tonnes, he said.

Replying to a question, Mr. Prasad said the country had imported 24,000 tonnes of pharmaceutical sugar which is not produced in the country. He pointed out that pharmaceutical sugar was used for pharmaceutical purposes and was not meant not for domestic consumption.

He said the sugar factories released sugar into the open market only after the Centre specified the quantum of sugar to be released by each factory. For instance, Mahadeshwara Sugar Mills in the State was given permission to release 1,000 tonnes into the market this year.

The sugar factory in Pandavapura and a sugar mill in Lucknow received orders to release the highest amount of sugar in the open market last year. The Centre had given permission to release 56,000 tonnes of sugar from various sugar factories in the State.

Mr. Prasad said the Centre would give permission to sugar factories to release additional sugar if they give an undertaking to pay their dues to the sugarcane farmers. The permission to release excess sugar would be on condition that they repay dues to the farmers, he said.

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