The government has approved the fair and remunerative price (FRP) for sugarcane by ₹25 from ₹315 per quintal to ₹340 per quintal for the sugar season 2024-25 at a recovery rate of 10.25%, the ministry of consumer affairs has said. The revised FRP will be applicable with effect from October 1, 2024.

FRP is the minimum price that sugar factories pay sugarcane growers. The decision has been taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"This is the historic price of sugarcane which is about 8% higher than FRP of sugarcane for the current season 2023-24," says the ministry, adding the move is going to benefit more than 5 crore sugarcane farmers and lakhs of persons involved in the sugar sector.

"With this approval, sugar mills will pay FRP of sugarcane @ ₹340/quintal at the recovery of 10.25%. With each increase of recovery by 0.1%, farmers will get the additional price of ₹3.32 while the same amount will be deducted on the reduction of recovery by 0.1%. However, ₹315.10/quintal is the minimum price of sugarcane which is at recovery of 9.5%. Even if sugar recovery is lesser, farmers are assured of FRP @ ₹315.10/quintal," says the ministry.

The government has also extended the 20% export duty of parboiled rice beyond March 31, 2024. The government levied the export duty on parboiled rice in August last year, which was to remain in effect till October 16 last year. However, the deadline was later extended till March 31 to maintain the domestic stock and keep the domestic prices in check. The move will come into effect beginning February 22.

To maintain domestic rice stock, the government also prohibited exports of Basmati rice below $1,200 per tonne beginning in August last year. "Contracts with the value of below $1200 per MT may be kept in abeyance and may be evaluated by a committee to be set up by the Chairman, APEDA, for understanding the variation in prices and use of this route for the export of non-Basmati white rice," the government had said earlier.

In addition to this, the duty-free import of yellow peas has been extended beyond March 31, subject to the condition that the bill of landing is issued on or before April 30, 2024.

In another significant development, the Cabinet has approved the Flood Management and Border Areas Programme,” with an outlay of ₹4,100 crore for a period of five years from 2021-22 to 2025-26. Under this, an outlay of ₹2,940 crore will be provided to states for taking up critical works related to flood control, anti-erosion, drainage development and anti-sea erosion amongst others. An outlay of ₹1,160 crore for flood control and anti-erosion works on common border rivers with neighbouring countries will also be provided.

"Although the primary responsibility of flood management rests with the State Governments, the Union Government has decided that it is desirable to supplement the efforts of the State Governments in flood management, encouraging promotion & adoption of modern technology and innovative materials/approach," says the government.

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