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            Ethanol is an agro-based product, mainly produced from a by-product of the sugar industry,
      namely molasses. In years of surplus production of sugarcane, when prices are depressed, the
      sugar industry is unable to make timely payment of cane price to farmers. The Ethanol Blended
      Petrol Programme (EBP) seeks to achieve blending of Ethanol with motor sprit with a view to
      reducing pollution, conserve foreign exchange and increase value addition in the sugar industry
      enabling them to clear cane price arrears of farmers.
            The central government has scaled up blending targets from 5 to 10 per cent under the EBP.
      The procedure of procurement of ethanol under the EBP has been simplified to streamline the
      entire ethanol supply chain and remunerative ex-depot price of ethanol has been fixed. To
      facilitate achieving of new blending targets, a “grid” which networks distilleries to OMC depots
      and details quantities to be supplied has been worked out.
      Sugar Development Fund
            Under the Sugar Cess Act, 1982, a cess was collected as excise duty on all sugar produced
      and sold by any factory within the country which has now been abolished through Taxation
      Laws Amendment Act, 2017. The cess so collected provided funds for Sugar Development Fund
      (SDF) through budgetary process. The Sugar Development Fund Act, 1982 can be utilized by the
      Government of India for making loans for facilitating the rehabilitation and modernization,
      development of sugarcane, bagasse based co-generation power projects, production of anhydrous
      alcohol or ethanol from alcohol, conversion of existing ethanol plant into zero liquid discharge
      plant, making grants for any research project aimed at development of sugar industry, defraying
      expenditure for the purpose of building up and maintenance of buffer stock of sugar, internal
      transport and freight charges to the sugar factories on export shipments of sugar, financial
      assistance to sugar factories towards interest on loan given in terms of any scheme approved by
      the central government from time to time, marketing and promotion service for raw production,
      interest subvention on scheme for extending soft loan to sugar mills, production subsidy to sugar
      mills to offset cost of cane and facilitate timely payment of cane price dues to farmers and for
      defraying any other expenditure for the purpose of this Act.
      Production Subsidy
            The government has also extended production subsidy at ₹ 4.50 per quintal to sugar mills
      from 2015 to offset cost of cane and facilitate timely payment of cane price dues of farmers for
      the sugar season 2015-16. Consequent upon sugar prices reaching substantially higher levels
      than required for operational viability of the sugar industry, the central government had
      withdrawn production subsidy scheme since 2016.
      Edible Oils
            The efficient management of edible oils in the country involves steps to ensure sufficient
      availability of edible oils to the consumer at reasonable rates. As per the third Advance Estimates
      for 2017-18 (Nov.-Oct.), estimated oilseeds production is about 306.38 lakh tonnes as compared
      to 312.76 lakh MT during the previous year.
      Vegetable Oil Industry
            There are about 100 Vanaspati units and 651 solvent extraction plants/ refineries in the
      country with an annual capacity to process around 6800 lakh MT of raw material. Due to various