NEW DELHI: The apex body of the sugar industry, ISMA, on Wednesday raised the demand to increase the ethanol price by Rs 4 per litre to Rs 69.85 and urged the government to come out with a long term policy and formula for ethanol pricing. It said these two steps will encourage mills to expand capacity by around 400 crore litres of ethanol by 2025 to achieve 20% blending in petrol.
The entity also demanded an increase in the minimum selling price of sugar to Rs 38 per kg from the current Rs 31 per kg in view of an increase in the cost of production.
Interacting with mediapersons, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) president Aditya Jhunjhunwala said the industry requires around Rs 17,500 crore to increase the capacity to produce 1,100 crore litres of ethanol from the current level of 700 crore litres. “At present, we operate at 80% capacity utilisation….To facilitate the huge investment of Rs 17,500 crore we need to have a long term ethanol pricing policy,” he said.
Jhunjhunwala said the ISMA will come out with a fresh sugar production estimate for the 2023-24 marketing year (October-September) next month after analysing the satellite image of sugarcane area across major producing states and only then would be able to assess whether there is any surplus for exports after meeting the domestic demand of sugar and ethanol.