No special package to revive sick sugar mills: Minister

New Delhi : The government Tuesday said it was not considering any special economic package for reviving sick sugar mills in the country.

“No special economic package for revival of sick sugar mills is under consideration of the government,” Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Raosaheb Patil Danve said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.

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He said it was the responsibility of private owners to take steps to revive their sick or closed sugar units, while state governments were concerned about public and cooperative mills.

The sugar industry was in the grip of a liquidity crunch due to low prices caused by surplus domestic output in the last four seasons and low exports in the wake of a subdued international sugar market, Danve said.

The government has already announced an interest-free loan of Rs.6,600 crore, as well as incentives for raw sugar export, to ensure payment of cane arrears to farmers, he added.

As many as 189 sugar mills were shut down, while 513 units were operational in the 2013-14 sugar season that runs from October to September.