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MLCs in Karnataka Demand Ethanol Policy & Insurance for Sugarcane

MLCs from sugarcane-growing areas in the North Karnataka region, who are associated with sugar factories, demanded a separate policy to promote ethanol production and also to bring the sugarcane crop under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).

Ayushi Raina
MLCs  Demand Ethanol Policy & Insurance for Sugarcane
MLCs Demand Ethanol Policy & Insurance for Sugarcane

MLCs representing sugarcane-growing districts in North Karnataka region who are affiliated with sugar factories demanded a separate strategy to boost ethanol production as well as to include the sugarcane crop in the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). 

Sugar Minister Shankar Patil Munenakoppa informed the Legislative Council that he will discuss ethanol policy with Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and PMFBY coverage for sugarcane with Agriculture Minister B C Patil. 

The problem came up during a debate over MLC Mahantesh Kavatagimath's question about the delay in payment to cane producers and the necessity for a scientific sugarcane price. 

According to Kavatagimath, the Centre is providing interest subsidies to encourage ethanol production at sugar mills, and the state should also assist it. 

MLC Laxman Savadi, a former deputy chief minister, stated that Madhya Pradesh and other states have distinct ethanol policies, and that Karnataka should have one as well, even if grain-based ethanol manufacturing is also increasing importance.

Savadi also demanded assurances from the government on the ethanol strategy in the ongoing session itself. 

Patil also backed Kavatagimath's proposal to include sugarcane in the PMFBY in the aftermath of agricultural losses caused by severe rains. Kavatagimath and Patil proposed that the government bear a portion of the premium amount paid by cane producers for the PMFBY, claiming that the government receives up to Rs.20000 crore in direct and indirect taxes from the sugar industry and related activities. 

Kavatagimath also urged the government to provide S Nijalingappa Sugar Institute with Rs.10 crore in special grants each year.

Munenakoppa stated that steps are being taken to revive certain closed sugar factories by March 2022, after the payment of outstanding debts to farmers. He highlighted that 65 of the State's 88 sugar plants are operational. 

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