With a view to encourage setting up of new sugar mills in the country, the Union Government has de-licensed the sugar industry. Replying to supplementaries in the Lok Sabha, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal said that as a long-term measure to deal with the problem of excess sugar, the government is encouraging sugar mills to divert excess sugarcane to ethanol which is blended with petrol. He said, this not only serves as a green fuel but also saves foreign exchange on account of crude oil import.
The Minister informed the house that in past three sugar seasons 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20 about 22,000 crore rupees revenue was generated by sugar mills and distilleries from sale of ethanol to oil marketing companies. He said, in normal sugar season (October to September), production of sugar in the country is around 320-330 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) as against the domestic consumption of 260 LMT.