Chandigarh, October 22:The Punjab Government would go all out to convert loss making cooperative sugar mills into the complexes manufacturing besides sugar other things such as ethanol, power and liquor as per the availability of the sugarcane at the various places across the state. This decision was taken here today at the Punjab Civil Secretariat-1 in a meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee formed by the state government for giving recommendations aimed at increasing the production in sugarcane & sugar sectors. The meeting also saw the Rural Development and Panchayat & Urban Development Minister Mr. Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Cooperation and Jail Minister S. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Registrar Cooperative Societies Mr. Vikas Garg, MD Sugarfed Mr. Devinder Singh and Cane Commissioner Mr. Jaswant Singh in attendance.

Giving details of the meeting, S. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said that the special invitee in today’s meeting MD of the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories, New Delhi Mr. Prakash Naikanware explained in detail the policy constituted by the Union Government with regard to the ethanol and also the present state of sugar industry in Punjab.

The meeting also saw the brainstorming pertaining to the planning about measures to be undertaken so as to ensure financial self-dependence of cooperative sugar mills of Punjab. Apart from this, the plans with regard to the modernization of the loss making cooperative sugar mills of the state to bolster their financial health, production of ethanol through establishing distilleries and setting up co-generation plants, were also approved in the meeting.

S. Randhawa further said that in accordance with the plan, a state of the art sugar plant having 5000 TCD capacity and a distillery with 100 K.L.P.D. capacity would be coming up at Gurdaspur which would produce ethanol and power apart from sugar. Not only this, but a modernized sugar plant of 3500 TCD capacity with provision for increase upto 5000 TCD would be established at Batala which would produce power besides sugar. There is also a proposal in the pipeline to modernize the cooperative sugar mills at Ajnala and Morinda. The decision concerning the restarting of the shut down cooperative sugar mills at Tarntaran, Zira and Patiala with the assistance of private sector was also taken at the meeting.

The Cooperation Minister further divulged that it was also decided in the meeting to prepare a plan for making joint efforts by the Agricuture Department, Punjab Agriculture University Ludhianam , Cane Commissioner and SUGARFED in collaboration with the research organizations of the Union Government regarding making available high yielding varieties of sugarcane, having more content of sugar, to the farmers of Punjab. These varieties would go a long way in improving the financial condition of the sugarcane farmers as well as the cooperative sugar mills.

S. Randhawa also said that it was also considered in the meeting that since most of the sugar mills are located in the border areas, their revival and modernization can very well spell a huge economic boom for these regions.