This year Bihar is aiming big in sugar production. The state government has decided to produce half a million tonnes of sugar in this fiscal. However, the low rate of recovery is creating a problem for sugar mills in the state.

"The capacity of sugar mills of Bihar has increased many folds in recent years. Besides, the production of sugarcane is also being increased. Therefore, we are aiming big this year. We are hoping that the total production of sugar in the state will be around 5 lakh tons this year," said an official of sugarcane department.

Last year sugar mills of the state produced almost 3.5 lakh tons of sugar. With the improve acreage and new sugar mills coming up this year, the officials of the state government are hoping for a better production.

"Our continued efforts are being paid off," Sushil Kumar Modi, Deputy Chief Minister told Business Standard few days ago, "and the situation is quite fevourable this year. More than Rs. 600 crores has been invested by the Sugar companies for capex during the tenure of our government. This has doubled crushing capacity of sugar mills. In 2005, the crushing capacity of sugar mills of the state used to be about 37,000 tonnes per day (TPD), which is now 68,000 TPD. Two new sugar mills of HPCL Biofuels (a wholly owned subsidiary of Hindustan Petro-Chemicals Ltd.) started production last year."

"We are very hopeful that Bihar will once again be one of the big producers of Sugar," Modi added.

However, it seems like a distant dream, if the sugar mill owners are to be believed. One of the sugar mill owners, who do not wish to be named, said, "The situation has no doubt improved, but the low rate of recovery is still hounding us. Our rate of recovery is just about 9 percent, which is way below than Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, etc. This is proving to be a big hurdle in our way."

source: BS

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