Sugar Industry to extended Rs. 7200 crore interest free loan: Sharad Pawar

New Delhi, Dec.6,: Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Friday announced interest free loans to sugar mill owners to encourage them to produce raw sugar.

“In order to encourage farmer to produce a new product that is raw sugar, certain incentives have been planned. See India is producing refined sugar but we want to encourage them to produce raw sugar, which is a new product,” Pawar told media here.

“Banks will be providing a loan of Rs. 7200 crores to the sugar industry and the Centre will give an interest subvention of 12%. The loan repayment period will five years. The loans can only be used to pay sugarcane producing farmers”, said Pawar.

“We have recommended that this raw sugar should be produced upto forty lakh tons per year,” Pawar further added.

The move is seen as a major boost to the cash-strapped Sugar mills operating in India. The recommendation has been made by the Group of Ministers, constituted to look into issues faced by sugar industry. The Group includes Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Finance Minister P.C. Chidambaram, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, Petroleum Minister Verappa Moily and Food Minister K.V. Thomas.(ANI)