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Caning Indians: Govt pampers cane farmers, wants rest of the country to pay for this

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Unwilling to risk its electoral chances in a key state like Uttar Pradesh, the government is looking for ways to appease cane growers—who are still owed Rs 18,000 crore by sugar mills—before it is too late. The food ministry had suggested a Rs 3 per kg cess on sugar, over and above the 5% GST—the Rs 6,700 crore that this would have collected was to be used to pay cane farmers. That would have been an unfair imposition on consumers across the country, and it is just as well the group of ministers, headed by Himanta Biswa Sarma, has shot down the proposal. At the same time, the panel has proposed a cut in the excise duty on ethanol from 18% to 12%—that is a good idea since it........

© The Financial Express