Minister for Co-operation Govind Gaude on Wednesday informed the state legislative assembly that the government is presently studying the feasibility of continuing with the state-owned Sanjivani sugar factory, which has registered a total loss of Rs 101.22 crore, and after receiving a review of the same from a consultant, within a period of a month, related decision would be reached.
Gaude said that an annual loss of Rs 8.71 crore has been faced by this factory due to several issues including scarcity of sugarcane in the state. He also stated that the government is examining the options of renovating/ upgrading the factory, constructing a new one, or shutting it down forever.
Speaking further, the Minister for Co-operation informed that the future of 268 contract workers as well as 956 sugarcane cultivators is linked to this factory. He also maintained that it would not be possible to reopen the factory in November, later this year, for crushing of sugarcane, and the government will have to examine if the problems of the sugarcane cultivators could be solved by providing some subsidies.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, speaking on the issue, said that those farmers, who have cultivated sugarcane this season, would not face any loss. “The government will purchase their sugarcane and supply it to the sugarcane factories in other states, besides providing support price to these farmers,” he assured.
Congress MLA Pratapsingh Rane, who raised a related query during the Question Hour, suggested that the government should examine the possibility of producing ethanol from sugarcane rather than sugar from it.
Responding to various questions, Gaude informed that the government has been trying to revive the sugar factory by approaching experts like Pune-based Vasantdada Sugar Institute and also Kanpur-based National Sugar Institute.
“We even had a plan for the renovation of the factory at a cost of Rs 35 crore but the question remains whether the factory would come out of red, after undertaking all this exercise, or still continue incurring losses,” he added.