Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday assured sugar mill owners that a solution to their problems owing to the government’s policy on the use of sugar for ethanol production will be found after April, and they should not worry. India will one day become an exporter of energy and there was a need to develop agriculture for this to happen, he said, speaking at the International Sugarcane Conference organized by the Vasantdada Sugar Institute in Pune. The institute is headed by NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
The Union government last year banned the use of sugarcane juice for making ethanol, but later reversed the decision by allowing the use of sugarcane juice as well as B-heavy molasses to produce the green fuel but capped the diversion of sugar at 17 lakh tonnes. Gadkari said the sugar industry should give more importance to ethanol production.
“Maximum ethanol, minimum sugar. With ethanol, we need to promote flex engine vehicles and at the same time, the government will take appropriate steps as far as ethanol is concerned….I know what problems you are facing. I do not want to make any comments, but this (apparently referring to restrictions on the use of sugarcane for ethanol production) is a temporary thing. This is a phase. After April, we will find a way. I am confident, I have already discussed it with the prime minister and other ministers, so do not worry,” he said.”As a promoter of ethanol in the country, I know the problems you are facing, I understand the concerns, and I promise that I will find a way out,” the senior minister added.
The future of the sugar industry was very good with its allied products, Gadkari said.