The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday gave its approval for providing a lump sum export subsidy @ Rs 10,448 per Metric Tonne (MT) to sugar mills for the sugar season 2019-20. The total estimated expenditure of about Rs 6,268 crore will be incurred for this purpose.
Addressing a press conference, Prakash Javadekar, the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Minister of Information and Broadcasting, said that the lump sum export subsidy will be provided for expenses on marketing costs including handling, upgrading and other processing costs, costs of international and internal transport and freight charges on export of up to 60 Lakh Metric Tonne (LMT) of sugar limited to Maximum Admissible Export Quantity (MAEC2) allocated to sugar mills for the sugar season 2019-20.
The Union minister added that the subsidy would be directly credited into farmers' account on behalf of mills against cane price dues and subsequent balance, if any, would be credited to mill's account. [(The subsidy shall be in conformity with the provisions of Article 9.1 (d) & (e) of Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) and thus WTO compatible.
Javadekar said that in wake of surplus sugar production during sugar season 2017-18 (October — September) and sugar season 2018-19, notwithstanding various measures taken by the Government, the ensuing sugar season 2019-20 is expected to commence with an opening stock of about 142 LMT and season end stock are expected to be about 162 LMT.
Javadekar also announced that India will soon have 75 new medical colleges in the next three years with the Centre spending Rs 24,375 crore on the institutes to ensure better healthcare facilities in areas lacking them.
The new medical colleges would be set up in areas having no medical college with at least 200 bedded district hospital. The government declared that preference will be given to aspirational districts and district hospital having 300 beds for the establishment of the new colleges. Continuing the focus on the creation of health care infrastructure, the Central Government had earlier approved to establish 58 new medical colleges attached with existing district/referral hospitals under Phase-I and 24 under Phase-II. Of this, 39 medical colleges under Phase-I, have already started functioning, while the remaining 19 would be made functional by 2020-21. Under Phase-II, 18 new medical colleges have been approved.