|Chief minister Nitish Kumar with his deputy
Sushil Kumar Modi at the Udyami panchayat
in Patna on Monday. Picture by Deepak Kumar
Patna, Oct. 29: The state government will prepare an improved sugarcane incentive policy to give a fresh lease of life to sugar and ethanol sectors, senior industries department officers said today.
Secretary of sugarcane industries department Sudhir Kumar, while speaking on the sidelines of the first Udyami panchayat, said the existing policy that was drafted in 2006 would be amended.
“It would be in sync with the state industrial policy of 2011,” he said. Chief minister Nitish Kumar chaired the Udyami panchayat.
The panchayat centred around the sugarcane industry with Nitish asking the department officers to meet deadlines rather than taking a slow approach towards the already announced schemes.
“The subsidies that are given to industrialists interested in setting up sugar mills in the state are in tune with the incentive policy of 2006. However, the industrial policy of the state, which was framed in 2011, allows subsidies, which are better and lucrative than that of the 2006 sugarcane incentive policy. The policy would be amended and the sugarcane industry department, industries department and the excise department would jointly do it,” the senior bureaucrat said.
He added: “Since ethanol production is also important, the excise department, too, has to help. Once it is done, the same will be uploaded on the websites of these departments and the experts can come in with their suggestions and comments. By December, a new sugarcane incentive policy would be framed.”
Officers present at the meet also said the entry tax or import duty for sugarcane would be introduced too.
“In Bihar, there is no entry tax for sugar unlike in the other states. This is costing the local sugar industry dear. Sugar from Karnataka, Maharashtra and even Brazil come to the state freely. The big sugar-manufacturing houses have set up their offices in Bihar and they don’t have to pay any entry tax because there is no provision for it. The local sugar industries are not very huge ones as compared to the units in other parts of the country or the world and hence they suffer,” said Deepak Yadav, the CEO and managing director of Bagaha-based Tirupati Sugars Limited.
He added: “There is entry tax for sugar in other states. For example, in Punjab the same rests at 5 per cent and in Uttar Pradesh it is 2 per cent. Unless the state introduces an entry tax for sugar, the industry will not grow.”
Industries department principal secretary Navin Verma said the issue has been taken into consideration.
“We have discussed it today and the state government will be coming up with something concrete very soon in this connection,” Verma said. At present, around 80,000 bags of sugar of one quintal each come from outside the state.