PRELIMINARY PLAN READY FOR MAKING COOP SUGAR MILLS FINANCIALLY SELF-RELIANT- D.P. REDDY

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Chandigarh February 28:

Aiming to transform state sugar mills into self-sufficient units, the Punjab Government will draft a plan very shortly for their revival and upgrading them into sugar complexes. Expressing these views additional chief secretary cooperation D.P. Reddy said on the directions of Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh, a high-level committee of experts in sugar industry was constituted to draft a feasible plan to give suggestions for rejuvenating loss-making cooperative sugar mills of the state into profitable units.

While presiding over a meeting of this committee held here today, Reddy informed that in order to safeguard the interests of sugarcane growers the committee of experts would shortly present its report to the state government which then be placed for consideration before a cabinet sub-committee.

He said in the previous meetings of the committee the experts have deliberated upon the various issues regarding numerous problems being faced by these sugar mills. “They have presented their valuable suggestions for making the sugar mills financially self-sustainable in view of the present scenario of the sugar industry in the country”, he said.

Additional chief secretary cooperation informed that on the basis of inputs of these experts committee the department would submit a roadmap for upgradation, setting up of distilleries for production of ethanol and co-generation etc. for the revival of the financial health of loss-making cooperative sugar mills. “In today’s meeting the experts suggested some proposals regarding sugarcane cultivation which includes the development of high yielding and sugar content sugarcane varieties, to provide good varieties of sugarcane seed to farmers, and problems regarding cane harvesting and labour”, he added.

Reddy said, “The discussions were also held on sowing, harvesting and management of sugarcane crop by adopting modern techniques to increase the yield as well as sugar content”. He revealed that the Punjab Chief Minister has asked the department to suggest ways for enhancing the income of cane growers especially by increasing the yield of sugarcane. “Punjab Cane Commissioner and Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana have been asked to draft a specific plan in this regard which would be submitted to the Government”, he informed.

In addition to the national level experts of sugar industry, Registrar Cooperative Societies A.S. Bains, Special Secretary Cooperation Gaggandeep Singh Brar, Managing Director Sugarfed Arun Sekhri, Cane Commissioner Jaswant Singh, experts of Punjab Agricultural University and elected representatives of various Cooperative Sugar Mills also attended the meeting.

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