Written by Partha Sarathi Biswas | Pune | Updated: December 30, 2017 11:18 amUttar Pradesh has surpassed Maharashtra as the top sugar producing state in the country.
Sugar millers from Maharashtra, already bogged down by falling demand and price, now have to reckon with sugar from Uttar Pradesh. Thanks to the logistical advantage, sugar from the northern state is fast posing a challenge even in the traditional markets which were monopolised by Maharashtra’s sugar sector
Since the adoption of the ‘wonder variety’ Co 0238, Uttar Pradesh has surpassed Maharashtra as the top sugar producing state in the country. Two consecutive droughts had also hurt Maharashtra’s sugar production, which has further cemented Uttar Pradesh’s claim.
This year, while Maharashtra is projected to produce 73 lakh tonnes (lt) of sugar, UP is all set to touch the 100 lt production figure.
This variety, developed by Dr Bakshi Ram, director of the Indian Council of Agriculture Research’s Sugarcane Breeding Institute in Comibatore, has helped both millers and farmers in Uttar Pradesh. The higher sucrose content in this variety has helped millers recover more sugar per tonne of cane crushed and for farmers, this variety has resulted in higher yield per acre.
Millers from Maharashtra say that UP millers, thanks to increased sugar production, have now started making inroads into markets which were traditionally cornered by them like Delhi, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. To add to Maharashtra millers’ woes, UP millers enjoy logistical advantage — they are geographically nearer to these markets and thus charge less on transport costs. “UP’s domestic consumption is around 37-38 lt and as compared to its previous production records of 50-60 lt, this year it is all set to produce 100 lt of sugar. The excess sugar obviously challenges the markets which were traditionally captured by us,” said a miller from Kolhapur.
On Friday, cooperative and private millers from Maharashtra held a meeting to discuss the various issues plaguing the sector. BB Thombare, president of the Western India Sugar Mills Association (WISMA) — the apex body of private millers in Maharashtra — said they have decided to meet the chief minister early in January to discuss the issues. “In view of the falling prices, payment of the fair and remunerative price (FRP) to the growers is becoming a major issue for us. Unless there are some policy level tweaks, the mills will soon not be in a position to pay the growers,” he said.
To arrest the falling prices, millers in Maharashtra want the creation of a buffer stock of 50 lt along with 100 per cent ban on imports. The millers also want the 20 per cent export duty on sugar to be waived off along with the Re 1.2 per unit cost levied on captive consumption of electricity generated by millers themselves.
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Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi | Updated: December 24, 2014 10:04 pmGood governance day essay competition for school children has been extended keeping the religious holiday in view.
The central government has extended the Good Governance day essay competition for school students to 26 December after a PIL was filed in Delhi High court alleging that the competition being held on a religious holiday violated the “secular spirit of the Constitution” and the right of Christians to celebrate their religious holiday.
“No child should be denied the opportunity to participate” observed the court of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice PS Teji during the hearing.
The court in its order noted that the “challenge is primarily on the ground that the celebration of Good Governance Day on 25th December which is a religious holiday, is against the spirit of articles 14,15,16, 19,21 and 25 of the Constitution of India.
The plea has been filed by PB Prince Gajendra Babu, for the Tamil Nadu based State Platform for Common School System (SPCSS). The plea alleges that since Central government’s decision to hold a competition included a cash prize and merit certificates for the students, they would be “constrained to participate” and the children who are celebrating Christmas would not be able to participate.
Senior advocate Amit Sibal, who had appeared on behalf of the petitioner, also argued that the students will “lose out” on the opportunity to participate if the competition was held on the holiday.
After the court asked the center to clarify its position, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain told the court that the essay writing competitions would be extended to December 26.
During the hearing, ASG Jain pointed out that competitions were often held on festivals, giving examples of Onam, but the court said that the issue was that children would not be able to participate.
“The ASG has submitted that the competition proposed to mark the Good Governance day by online essay competition in all CBSE schools will not be confined only to December 25 but option will also be given to submit the essay on December 26” noted the court.
The High court has also asked the Centre to provide wide publicity through radio, Tv and print media to the extension, as the all India competition would include children in government schools in remote areas.
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