India plans Rs70Bn rupee bailout for sugar mills: Times of India
June 4, 2018 | 9:55 PM
by Reuters
Labourers carry sacks filled with sugar to load them onto a supply truck at a wholesale market in Kolkata, India, April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/File Photo

New Delhi: The Indian government is likely to announce a bailout package of more than over 70 billion rupees ($1.04 billion) to the cash-starved sugar mills to help clear dues to farmers, the Times of India reported on Monday, citing the Press Trust of India.

The country's Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs is scheduled to meet on Tuesday to decide on the bailout, according to the report

The government is keen to placate India's 50 million cane growers, who make up an influential political lobby, especially with national elections barely a year away in May 2019.

Last month, the government had announced a subsidy for sugarcane farmers and had said it would build stockpiles of sugar to cut a surplus in the market.

The country had outperformed market expectations in the 2017-2018 crop year, which led to a fall in prices, leaving sugar mills unable to pay farmers.

India's sugar output is likely to scale record highs in the next marketing season, with farmers choosing to plant the crop despite falling prices and around Rs200 billion in delayed payments from mills for the current harvest.

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