Bihar Govt keen to revive closed sugar mills of state

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 23:17

Patna: Stating that the state government
was keen to revive the closed 15 sugar mills, Bihar`s
Sugarcane Minister Gautam Singh on Tuesday told the Assembly that
sick sugar mills would be made operational.

"We are committed to revive the closed mills. The
government has decided to hand over these units to private
hands through bidding process," Singh said while replying to
budgetary demand for the Sugarcane Department.

The budgetary grant of Rs 72.60 crore for the Sugarcane
Department was passed by the House.

In its first bidding process, the government has taken a
decision to transfer Lauriya (including distilleries) and
Sugauli units and Motipur sugar factory to HPCL and Reliance
Industries, respectively, Singh said and added the government
has also signed an MoU with HPCL in January last.

In the second phase of bidding, Raiyam and Sakri units
would be handed over to Tirhut Industries Ltd and Guraru unit
would be given to Jhulan Vanaspati Ltd, which would set up
rice-mill cum power plant.

Singh said SBI Caps, appointed to suggest ways to revive
the units, proposed that eight could be revived and rest
seven could be given new lease of life in other sectors.

The NDA government had taken steps to make the state an
ethanol hub, but the Centre amended the Sugarcane Control
Order saying only sugar mills could make ethanol thus
preventing production of ethanol directly from sugarcane,
Singh said.

He said the amendment prevented the state from getting a
whopping Rs 20,000 crore of investment.

The process to set up three sugar mills -- two in East
Champaran and one in West Champaran -- by private investors
are in advanced stages, Singh said.

The minister said the crushing capacity of units Hari
Nagar, Majhauliya, Sasamusa, Hasanpur and Gopalganj have
been increased.

The sugar mills which would be producing ethanol besides
sugar were New Swadeshi Sugar Mill, Riga Sugar Mill and Hari
Nagar.

The government would also provide six quintals of high
quality sugarcane seeds to each sugarcane grower free of
cost, the minister said adding that Rs 3,000 would also be
given to every farmer for purchasing fertiliser and
pesticides.

Bureau Report



First Published: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 23:17

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