The State governments are taking various steps, including private, public partnerships and collaborations to revive non-operational sugar mills.
Recently, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution told the Lok Sabha that there are 202 non-operational sugar mills across the States while 493 mills are operational.
“In the case of private sector sugar mills, it is the responsibility of the entrepreneurs to take necessary steps to operationalise their closed sugar mills, and in case of co-operative/public sector sugar mills, the responsibility lies with the co-operative societies/respective state governments” the Ministry stated.
Maharashtra, one of the largest sugarcane producing States, has passed the Resolution in 2002 and framed criteria to rejuvenate non-operational sugar mills and their allied units on hire, partnership or collaboration basis.
In Karnataka, the government has decided to lease out the sick cooperative sugar factories to private entrepreneurs on a long-term lease. Eight cooperative sugar factories have been leased out to private entrepreneur so far.
The Gujarat government has sanctioned a liquidity support loan for Rs 25 crore to the Vadodara District Cooperative Sugarcane Growers Union Ltd, to pay sugarcane arrears to the farmers to survive this non-operational sugar mill in the current sugar season.
The Andhra Pradesh government has formed a group of Ministers to study and suggest measures for the improvement of the mills in the State. The Bihar government has taken a policy decision to revive the sick sugar mills of the Bihar State Sugar Corporation Ltd by transferring them to private/public sector entrepreneurs on long term lease through bid process management.
According to the Central Government non-operation of the sugar mills is normally attributable to no availability of adequate sugarcane, uneconomic size of the plant, lack of modernization, the high cost of working capital, poor recovery from sugarcane, lack of professional management, overstaffing and financial crunch etc.