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Industry & Economy - Sugar


Sugar sector feels let down — `No measures on de-control'

Kohinoor Mandal

Kolkata , Feb. 28

Sugar industry felt a bit let down by the Union Budget placed on Tuesday because the Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, did not take step towards decontrolling the sector.

Mr C.S. Nopany, President of Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), said on several occasions the industry has urged the Union Government to remove the levy on sugar sales.

The industry expected some initial steps in this year's Budget but nothing was announced. According to Mr Nopany, there are several loopholes in the system.

"The whole purpose of addressing the needs of the poorer section of the society through this control system gets lost due to the loopholes. We had asked the Government to abolish it but nothing has happened", Mr Nopany told Business Line.

He, however, appreciated the Union Finance Minister and welcomed the steps taken by him to arrange more credit for the farming sector. He felt that the move would give the farmers more access to liquidity.

Boost to farmers

"This move would be helping our farmers in boosting in agricultural growth and it would include sugar", he said.

L.N. Revathy reports from Coimbatore: The sugar industry, according to Mr S.V. Balasubramaniam, Chairman and Managing Director, Bannari Amman Sugars and Past President, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), has come to a stage of stability.

The fillip to the agriculture sector, he perceived would influence farmers to expand the area under cane. "This would have an impact on the availability of cane for crushing in the coming sugar season (October 2006-September 2007). We have been self-sufficient until now, but can look at exports in a big way in the future," he said.

The industry, however, has expressed disappointment over the silence on ad valorem duty on molasses.

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