NIZAMABAD:Sugarcane farmers in Nizamabad and Bodhan divisions are awaiting the State’s decision to restart NDSL and NCSF sugar mills.
Nizamabad Deccan Sugar Limited (NDSL), a private sector initiative and Nizamabad Cooperative Sugar Factory (NCSF), a cooperative undertaking have both seized production for several years. During electioneering the TRS party had assured the sugarcane farmers that these units will be reopened, if KCR ever assumed office. However, even after 17 months of TRS rule, both the mills remain abandoned.
Farmers’ union leaders recalled that the BJP led NDA government had taken decisive steps to reopen the mills after they came to power at the Centre. For example, the Centre encouraged ethanol production which will benefit the sugar mills as sugar is a requisite for fermentation, which results in ethanol. The Union government has already distributed Rs 6,000 crore to all eligible sugar factories to clear of their debts. The Centre also imposed 40 duty taxes on imported Sugar to encourage domestic production. Farmers believe that all these steps were aimed at boosting the national sugar industry.
The AP government has decided to strengthen 34 units (both private and cooperative) in Andhra Pradesh. The government there has also abolished VAT on sugar. Telangana government is still scrutinising the situation and will first decide the future of NDSL before moving onto NCSF.
State agriculture minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy said that the government is considering letting another private company run NDSL.
Speaking to Express, Bharathiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) national executive committee member K Sai Reddy said that the government’s indecisiveness has brought down TRS popularity among the farmers. The State can avail the Centre’s assistance and rescue the sugarcane industry from peril.
“It is surprising that TRS is still pondering over the revival of NDSL,” he added.