Government intervenes to unclog payment of arrears to cane farmers



Government intervenes to unclog payment of arrears to cane farmers

To help the industry clear its cane dues arrears, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi today approved the proposal to provide soft loans to the extent of Rs. 6000 crore to the sugar industry. CCEA has provided a one year moratorium on this loan, and will bear the interest subvention cost to the extent of Rs. 600 crore for the said period. To ensure that farmers are paid their dues expeditiously, the Government has mandated that banks will obtain from the sugar mill, the list of farmers with bank account details to the extent cane dues are to be paid, so that the same are directly paid into the account of the farmers on behalf of the sugar mills. Subsequent balance if any, will then be credited into the mill account.


Furthermore, in order to incentivize the mills to clear their dues, CCEA has also decided that the approved soft loans will be provided to those units which clear at least 50 percent of their outstanding arrears before 30th June, 2015.

Fair & Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane is fixed by the Govt. of India keeping in view the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices. For the present sugar season, it is Rs.220/quintal. Some State governments declare State Advisory Price which is above the FRP. Sustained surpluses of production over domestic consumption in the last four years has led to subdued sugar prices. Similar situation prevails in international markets. This has stressed the liquidity position of the industry leading to a build up of cane price arrears. In the current sugar year (Oct 20014-Sept 2015), the cane price arrears are approximately Rs. 21,000 crore.

The Government, in fact, has taken several steps in the last one year to mitigate the situation and protect the livelihoods of cane farmers. To improve the liquidity of sugar mills and facilitate payment of cane dues arrears, the Government has increased the export incentive on raw sugar from Rs 3200/MT to Rs. 4000/MT. Funds have been allocated to support 14 lac MT (LMT) of raw sugar exports as against 7.5 LMT achieved last year.

The Government has also fixed remunerative prices for ethanol supplied for blending with petrol. It has dismantled the tender based price discovery procedures for ethanol and fixed attractive prices for ethanol supplied for petrol blending. Prices were fixed at Rs.48.50 to 49.50 per litre depending on distance from the depot thereby effectively giving Rs.42 per litre to the mill as against Rs.32 per litre last year. As a result, the supply levels of ethanol, which were about 32 crore liters per year, shot upto a level of 83 crore liter per annum. It has also been decided to waive the excise duties on ethanol in the next sugar season to further incentivize ethanol supplies for the blending program. This would further increase the ex mill price of ethanol and help improve the liquidity of the industry and enable them to clear the cane price arrears.

Furthermore, to improve the price sentiments of sugar, the Government has also increased the import duty to 40 percent, and abolished the Duty Free Import Authorization Scheme. To prevent possible leakages of sugar in the domestic markets, the Government has also reduced the export obligation period from 18 months to 6 months under the Advanced Authorization Scheme.

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Continuation of production of Urea from Madras Fertilizers Ltd.-Manali, MCFL-Mangalore and SPIC-Tuticorin using Naphtha as feedstock till gas connectivity and availability to these urea manufacturing units

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the continuation of production of urea from Madras Fertilizers Ltd.-Manali, Mangalore Chemical and Fertilizers Limited-Mangalore and Southern Petrochemicals Industries Corporation -Tuticorin using Naphtha as feedstock till availability of gas through gas pipeline or by any other means.

However, the state government concerned that is Government of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka would be required not to charge VAT or entry tax on the Naptha/FO as decided in the earlier meeting of the CCEA in December 2014.

There are only two urea units at Kakinada in the entire Southern region other than these three units. If these three units would have been closed, then the entire requirement of the Southern region would have had to be sourced mainly through imports. Continuation of operation of these three units would substantially ease the problems of urea supply in Southern states during the ensuing Kharif.

These three naphtha based urea units with an annual capacity of 14.88 lakh metric tonne will cater to the demand in the Southern states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala (around 22.5 lakh MT per annum) throughout the year.

The production of urea by these units will ensure timely and adequate availability of urea to farmers of the Southern states and will result in import substitution of urea.

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Four laning of Guna-Biaora and Biaora-Dewas section of National Highway – 3 in Madhya Pradesh

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for development of the four laning of the Guna-Biaora and Biaora-Dewas section of National Highway – 3 in Madhya Pradesh with an estimate cost of Rs.2815.69 crore.

This work will be under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase-IV. The approval is in Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis in BOT (Toll) mode.

The cost is estimated to be Rs.1081.9 crore for Guna-Biaora including cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities. The total length of the road will be approximately 93.5 kms.

The total cost for Biaora-Dewa section will be approximately 1733.79 crore including cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities. The total length of the road will be approximately 141.26 kms.

The main object of the project is to expedite the improvement of infrastructure in Madhya Pradesh and also in reducing the time and cost of travel for traffic, particularly heavy traffic, plying between Guna-Biaora-Dewas, which are major cities of Madhya Pradesh. The development of this stretch will also help in uplifting the socio-economic condition of the concerned regions of the State and would also increase employment potential for local labourers for project activities. The project is covered in the region of Guna-Biaora-Dewas.

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Four laning of Yadgiri-Warangal section of National Highway – 163 in Telangana

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for development of the four laning of the Yadgiri-Warangal section of National Highway – 163 in Telangana.

This work will be under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase-IV. The approval is in Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) basis.

The cost is estimated to be Rs.1905.23 crore including cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities. The total length of the road will be approximately 99 kms.

The main object of the project is to expedite the improvement of infrastructure in Telangana and also in reducing the time and cost of travel for traffic, particularly heavy traffic, plying on the Yadgiri-Warangal sector. After four laning of this stretch, the whole stretch from Hyderabad to Warangal would be 4-laned. The development of this stretch will also help in uplifting the socio-economic condition of the concerned regions of the State and would also increase employment potential for local labourers for project activities. The project is covered in the region of Yadgiri and Warangal.

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Continuation of production of Urea from Madras Fertilizers Ltd.-Manali, MCFL-Mangalore and SPIC-Tuticorin using Naphtha as feedstock till gas connectivity and availability to these urea manufacturing units

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the continuation of production of urea from Madras Fertilizers Ltd.-Manali, Mangalore Chemical and Fertilizers Limited-Mangalore and Southern Petrochemicals Industries Corporation -Tuticorin using Naphtha as feedstock till availability of gas through gas pipeline or by any other means.

However, the state government concerned that is Government of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka would be required not to charge VAT or entry tax on the Naptha/FO as decided in the earlier meeting of the CCEA in December 2014.

There are only two urea units at Kakinada in the entire Southern region other than these three units. If these three units would have been closed, then the entire requirement of the Southern region would have had to be sourced mainly through imports. Continuation of operation of these three units would substantially ease the problems of urea supply in Southern states during the ensuing Kharif.

These three naphtha based urea units with an annual capacity of 14.88 lakh metric tonne will cater to the demand in the Southern states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala (around 22.5 lakh MT per annum) throughout the year.

The production of urea by these units will ensure timely and adequate availability of urea to farmers of the Southern states and will result in import substitution of urea.

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Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Bill 2015 for amending the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 and subsequent to enactment of the Bill, to accede to the Bunker Convention 2001 of the International Maritime Organization

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, today approved the Ministry of Shipping's proposal for India's accession to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001 (Bunker Convention) of the International Maritime Organization [IMO] as well as to amend the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 to give effect to the Bunker Convention, Nairobi Convention and Salvage Convention.

The Bunker Convention ensures adequate, prompt, and effective compensation for damage caused by spills of oil, when carried as fuel in ships' bunkers. The territorial jurisdiction for damage compensation extends to territorial sea and exclusive economic zones. It applies to an Indian vessel, wherever it is situated, and to a foreign flag vessel while it is within Indian jurisdiction.

The registered owner of every vessel has to maintain compulsory insurance cover which allows claim for compensation for pollution damage to be brought directly against an insurer.

Every ship above one thousand gross tonnage has to carry a certificate on board to the effect that it maintains insurance or other financial security, such as the guarantee of a bank or similar financial institution. In India the Directorate General of Shipping shall issue that certificate and in foreign countries their respective maritime authority will issue the certificate. No vessel will be permitted to enter or leave India without such a certificate.

The liability cover for pollution damage shall be equal to the limits of liability under the applicable national or international limitation regime, but in all cases, not exceeding an amount calculated in accordance with the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976. India is a party to Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims convention and its provisions already exist in the Merchant Shipping Act and Rules thereunder.

The Bunker Convention 2001 is already in force internationally since 21.11.2008 and maritime nations accounting for 91 percent of world shipping tonnage are Parties to this Convention. If India does not become a party to Bunker Convention, Indian flag ships visiting foreign ports will have to continue with the present dispensation of approaching foreign countries for bunker insurance compliance certificates while foreign ships visiting Indian ports are not subjected to compulsory insurance.

The proposed amendments to the Merchant Shipping Act 1958, if enacted, shall also give effect to the Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention and the Salvage Convention of IMO to which India is already a party. It will facilitate more purposeful approach towards removal of wrecks and salvage, protect Indian waters from the wreck hazards and introduce internationally recognized and approved rules for removal of wrecks.

Similarly, private and public entities will be encouraged to participate in salvage operations on account of adequate remuneration for services rendered specially to protect the environment or minimize its damage. Salvage services provided for saving life, cargo or wreck will be paid on priority to other claims for salvage. Salvage services provided by the Government shall also be entitled to rights and remedies as those of any other salvor. The Bill provides for duties of the salvor, owner and master of a vessel. It also provides for rights and duties of the Central Government in cases of maritime casualty in protecting its environment and coastline and to pass directions with regard to salvage operations. The disputes relating to claims shall be determined by the High Courts. Action on payment for salvage shall extinguish if such claim is not made within two years.

Government intervenes to unclog payment of arrears to cane farmers Government intervenes to unclog payment of arrears to cane farmers Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 7:04 PM Rating: 5

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