It’s been almost a year since farmers were protesting against three farm reform laws. Amid ongoing protest, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a few measures to support sugar, cotton, and jute growing farmers.
CCAE increased the price of ethanol extracted from sugarcane juice for blending in petrol to ₹63.45 a liter in the coming sugar market season starting in December. This is an 80paise hike from last year. Ethanol blending with petrol will increase by 10% next year and 20% by 2025.
Oil marketing companies buy ethanol from sugar mills and distillerise at the rate set by the government. By reducing the sugar surplus and increasing mills’ liquidity, the rate hike will reduce their pending arrears in payment to sugar cane farmers.
Price Support to CCI
The CCEI also approved committed price support of ₹17,408.85 crores to the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI). Support was approved as repayment for its losses in procuring crops from farmers at minimum support price over the last seven years.
The CCCI is mandated to procure all Fair Average Quality grade cotton from farmers without any quantitative ceiling, as and when prices follow below MSP rates set by the Centre, in a bid to protect farmers from distress sales. Over the last two seasons, during the pandemic, the CCI procured a third of the country’s production, paying 40 lakh farmers more than ₹55,000 crores.
Jute in Packaging
CCEA approved reservation norms for the mandatory use of jute in packaging this year, stipulated that 100% of food grains and 20% of sugar must be packed in jute bags. Such reservation consumed two-thirds of the total raw jute production last year.
As the Centre itself purchases jute sacking bags worth ₹8,000 crores a year to pack grains, It ensured a guaranteed market for the produce of 40 lakh jute farmers, mostly in eastern India. It also supports 3.7 lakh jute farmers, mostly in West Bengal.
The Ethanol blending of 20% is by 2030 and not 2050, seems there is a typo.
Government steps in the right direction, hope they would pace it up and advance the same..