Ahead of Lok Sabha elections, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar Wednesday managed to get Cabinet clearance to provide subsidy for export of four million tonnes of raw sugar, a move which will benefit sugar millers in Maharashtra and UP among other states and help them pay arrears to sugarcane farmers.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved Rs 3,333 a tonne of subsidy for export of the sugar. The quantum of subsidy was a bone of contention between Pawar and the Food Ministry under K V Thomas. While the agriculture minister pitched for Rs 3,500 per tonne, the food ministry put it at Rs 2,000.
The CCEA discussed the issue thrice this month but could not arrive at a consensus over the quantum of subsidy.
Thomas said the figure is based on current exchange rate and will be valid for February-March. He said the subsidy would be reviewed in April. This is likely to cost the exchequer over Rs 1,000 crore.