ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Problems and Prospects of Sugar Industry

Problems and Prospects of Sugar Industry by V H Dalmia President Indian Sugar Mills Association THE Sugar Industry had to its credit the unique distinction of exceeding the production targets laid down during the First, Second and the Third Plans. Then followed a sudden transition from an era of plenty to that of shortage in 1966-67 when production declined sharply from 35.3 lakh tonnes achieved in 1965-66, the last year of the Third Plan to about 21.6 lakh tonnes. The reasons were the decline in cane availability to sugar factories due to shrinkage in acreage and large-scale diversion of cane to gur and khandsari manufacture. It was quite on the cards that if Government had pursued their policy of rigid controls on the Sugar Industry in 1967-68 also, sugar production might have further declined to as low as 16 lakh tonnes. Realising the exigency of the situation Government announced the policy of partial decontrol which not only helped maintain production in 1967-68 season at the slightly higher level of 22.5 lakh tonnes but also paved the way for a steadily rising trend in sugar output. Enabled by the limited freedom allowed under the new policy, sugar factories offered higher cane prices to the growers and the drop in cane acreage was very largely made good. Naturally, this has had its effect in the following season 1968-69 when the sugar output rose to 35.6 lakh tonnes. The impact of the policy has been felt in a fuller measure this season when we expect the production to reach the peak level of about 43 lakh tonnes.

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