Companies & Sectors
Cabinet clears Rs.6,000 crore loan to sugar mills
The union cabinet on Wednesday approved Rs.6,000 crore interest-free loan to sugar mills to help the industry clear its cane arrears, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said here.
 
"We have taken this decision in the interest of farmers," Gadkari told the media after a cabinet meeting. 
 
Asked about the government's long-term plans for the sugar industry, he said: "For long term, the government is in discussion." 
 
The major sugar producing states are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Punjab.
 
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has provided a one-year moratorium on this loan, and will bear the interest subvention cost to the extent of Rs.600 crore for the said period, an official statement said.
 
"To ensure that farmers are paid their dues expeditiously, the government has mandated that banks will obtain from the sugar mill, the list of farmers with bank account details to the extent cane dues are to be paid, so that the same are directly paid into the account of the farmers on behalf of the sugar mills. Subsequent balance if any, will then be credited into the mill account," it added.
 
In order to incentivise the mills to clear their dues, the CCEA has also decided that the approved soft loans will be provided to those units which have cleared at least 50 percent of their outstanding arrears before June 30, 2015.
 
The fair and remunerative price (FRP) of sugarcane is fixed by the government, which is Rs.220 per quintal for the present sugar season.
 
Sustained surpluses of production over domestic consumption in the last four years have led to subdued sugar prices. Similar situation prevails in international markets. This has stressed the liquidity position of the industry, leading to a build-up of cane price arrears.
 
In the current sugar year (October 2014-September 2015), the cane price arrears stand at approximately Rs.21,000 crore.
 
The stocks of sugar companies rose following the cabinet approval. The stocks of Balrampur Chini were up 5.62 percent, Shree Renuka Sugars 8.50 percent, Dhampur Sugar 6 percent and Andhra Sugars 7.28 percent in the Bombay Stock Exchange.

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'More aggressive anti-terror operations likely in future'
As the well-planned and surgical strike against terror camps across the India-Myanamar border sent a clear message that New Delhi will not tolerate the scourge, highly placed sources said Wednesday that more such operations could be mounted in future if the situation warrants.
 
"More such attacks may take place if there are intelligence inputs of a threat (of the kind of attack May 4 in Manipur that claimed the lives of 18 Indian Army soldiers and injured many more). The forces are always ready for such operations," a senior officer told IANS, on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media.
 
According to sources, elements of 21 Para (SF) of the Parachute Regiment that carried out the strike on Tuesday did not suffer any losses but caused "significant casualties" among the terrorists.
 
Officially, the army has not released figures for militants killed in the attack but these are estimated to be between 15 and 25.
 
Sources said the camps that were attacked were a few kilometers inside Myanmar border, but refusing to name the exact location.
 
"The camps were a few kilometers inside the Myanmar border," the sources told IANS.
 
The paratroopers were flown to the target in the indigenous Dhruv advanced light helicopters.
 
The Additional Director General of Military Operations, Maj. Gen. Ranbir Singh had said on Tuesday that the Myanmarese authorities were taken into confidence ahead of the attack.

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Government to import pulses to check inflation
The government on Wednesday said that it would import pulses in large quantities to check rising prices of the commodity.
 
At a meeting of the union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here, the issue of rising prices of pulses was discussed.
 
"The cabinet discussed the rising prices of pulses and expressed concern about the same. The prime minister has directed to import pulses in large quantity to keep domestic prices under check," Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari told the media after the cabinet meeting.
 
India imports nearly four million tonnes of pulses annually.

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