INDIA: Uttarakhand plans to revive all of its sugar mills
Published: 07/25/2012, 10:50:29 AM
After conducting a diagnostic study, the Uttarakhand government is now planning to revive its ailing sugar mills, according to India's Business Standard newspaper.
Alok Kumar Jain, the chief secretary of the state, has written a letter to S S Rawat, secretary, sugarcane department, calling for preparing an action plan for a "turn around strategy" for unviable sugar mills.
There are five sugar mills in the government sector with most of them running in heavy losses.
Stating that the diagnostic study of these sugar mills has already been conducted, Jain said there should be no further delay in preparing the plan for the revival of sugar mills.
The government had got the diagnostic study of its five sugar mills conducted by the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories Ltd, which is a leading agency for conducting such diagnosis.
Old and outdated machines, excessive inventory, heavy sugar stocks and interest burdens are enumerated to be some of the reasons behind the sickness of sugar industry. One of the big reasons behind the sickness is of hefty cane price which reached INR250 (US$4.44)-INR255 last year. "Due to higher cane price, the arrears have also mounted," said the official.
During the past few years, the sugarcane department has made several bids to revive its co-generation project for its Kitcha and Baajpur sugar mills on the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode but all the attempts have come cropper. "There is no sincerity in the plan and top politicians have also not shown not much interest," said a government official.
The government has, in the meanwhile, also decided to set up two tissue culture laboratories, one at kitcha in Udhamsingh Nagar district and another at Imlikheda area of Haridwar district with a cost of INR13 million each. The laboratories would help prepare better seed varieties of sugarcane which would also be disease free.
Ozone Biotech has been appointed as consultant for setting up the two tissue culture laboratories.
Experts say the tissue culture technique in sugarcane can be used for rapid multiplication of newly developed, high yielding, high sugar, disease resistant varieties and rejuvenation of outstanding varieties under cultivation.