NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: Union Home and Co-operation Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday held a meeting with leaders from Maharashtra on issues pertaining to the sugar industry and ensured all possible help from the Central government to revive the industry in the state. Co-operative-based sugar factory issues were discussed. Officials said Shah assured the delegation that steps would be taken.
Union Minister of State for Coal, Raosaheb Patil Danve, Minister of State in the Ministry of Cooperation BL Verma, former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, former Maharashtra ministers Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Madan Bhosle and Harshvardhan Patil, along with MLA Rahul Kul, MLC Ranjit Singh Mohite Patil and former MP Dhananjay Mahadik attended the meeting. The meeting is significant in terms of the government’s concern towards sugar mills.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had in August approved fair and remunerative price (FRP) of sugarcane payable by mills for the 2021-22 season. Maharashtra co-operative sugar factories demanded the financial package and relief in income tax, according to officials. Sugar factories in Maharashtra have to pay Rs 10,000 crore as income tax. The factories are facing difficulties in paying taxes due to drought, Covid and rain.
Fadnavis said a number of decisions were taken in the meeting. He said the main demand was for a permanent solution to the tax issues of factories that are paying more than FRP to farmers. “Most of these are old problems. However, Amitbhai Shah ensured solutions to these problems. The government wants to resolve the issues through a tripartite agreement with oil companies regarding the ethanol projects. We also discussed the debt restructuring of sugar factories that will help them to come out from the crisis,” Fadnavis said.