Govt has not yet decided on Sanjivani closure: Gaude

Ponda: Co-operation Minister Govind Gaude on Monday informed that the government has not yet taken any decision on shutting down Sanjivani sugar factory.

“In case if the State government thinks of closing the factory then the farmers will be taken into confidence,” he said.

The minister said, “During the current COVID crisis the government will have to spend Rs 186 crore on a new factory, which will take another two-three years for its construction. The factory is yet to clear loans to the tune of Rs 52 crore. Till the government sets up a new factory it is ready to compensate the farmers. Till then if the farmers switch over to other crops then it will be double benefit to them. They can continue to produce and sell sugarcane to any party. We will inform the farmers on restarting the factory one year in advance.”

He said, “The factory is facing loss of Rs 18-19 crore each year including maintenance, electricity, water and salary. Till date the total loss is Rs 153 crore. Under such condition if we spend Rs 18 crore every year then it is of no use.”

Recently the administrator held meeting with farmers. Government had conducted analysis as to why the factory suffered losses. The facts were presented before the farmers.

He said, “The factory faces loss of Rs 6,000 per tonne on sugar production. The production cost per tonne of sugar is Rs 9,000 while the returns are Rs 2,640.”

“The current market rate of sugar is Rs 34 per kg while Sanjivani sugarcane cost goes up to Rs 71 per kg. Under such circumstances, who will buy sugar at doubled rates,” he questioned.

“We have not decided on factory closure and are presently discussing with farmers how they will benefit from various options during the current situation,” he added. [H]