Sugarcane dues to farmers from mills, have come down to Rs 6,225 crore in the ongoing sugar season.
Cane arrears had touched Rs 21,000 crore in April of the 2014-15 sugar season (October-September) as sugar prices were subdued due to surplus sugar production for last five years.
"Sugarcane price arrears for sugar season 2015-16 have come down to Rs 6,225 crore. As on today, about 87 per cent cane dues have been paid for the season. During the same period of last year these dues were Rs 19,437 crore," Food Ministry said in a statement.
Out of Rs 6,225 crore cane arrears, Uttar Pradesh has a maximum share of Rs 2,428 crore followed by Rs 1,325 crore in Karnataka and Rs 883 crore in Maharashtra.
In last one year, the government has taken several measures to improve liquidity position of sugar mills enabling them to clear cane prices dues to farmers.
The government had provided soft loan to millers to clear cane arrears. It also increased import duty to 40 per cent, and offered export subsidy on raw sugar and a production subsidy to sugar mills to offset cost of cane price.
The government also promoted Ethanol Blending Program (EBP).
India's sugar production is estimated to be 25 million tonnes in 2015-16 season, as against 28.3 million tonnes in the previous year.