The recently approved New Excise Policy with sweeping changes, will not only enable the Yogi government in maintaining control over activities relating to manufacturing, transport, import, export, sale and possession of intoxicants, but also, fulfil the objective of increasing the financial resources of the state and making quality liquor available to the consumers at a reasonable price.

Moreover, the changes in the policy will not only succeed in attracting large-scale investors, but also boost farmers’ income by providing a market for farm produce and generating employment. Not only this, the revisions will also attract other players to develop the market in the state. The Excise Department will act as a regulator and a developer.

Sugarcane growers will get incentive

Uttar Pradesh is the leading state in the field of sugarcane production. According to estimates, in the year 2022-23, sugarcane was produced in about 29.30 lakh hectares in the state. In order to get the right price for the sugarcane farmers of the state, it is necessary to increase the productivity of each part of the value chain and to make efforts for its value addition.

The Excise Department is working on using the molasses obtained as a by-product in the process of sugar manufacturing and utilising the alcohol produced from it for the manufacturing of different types of chemicals, ethanol-blended petrol, sanitisers and liquor in the state.

This move will promote industrialisation and also develop the agricultural sector, benefiting the farmers.

Under the value chain, the emphasis is on preventing damage to agricultural products, providing better prices to the producers and providing appropriate quality products to the consumers. Sugar, bagasse, molasses, press mud, among others are produced from sugarcane by sugar mills. Due to the abundant availability of molasses produced as a by-product in the sugar mills of the state, there are strong possibilities of the development of the alcohol industry in the state. At present, ethanol production is a good option. For the purpose of controlling environmental pollution, it is necessary to use molasses quickly while preventing damage to its quality.

As per the current policy of the Government of India, blending ethanol to the extent of 10 per cent of petrol used as fuel is mandatory. This partially saves foreign exchange on the import of petrol. Under this policy, ethanol produced in the state is exported to the petroleum depots located both within the state and outside for blending. In this sequence, a total of 96.55 crore bulk litres of ethanol was extracted in the financial year 2021-22, out of which 43.95 crore bulk litres were supplied to the oil depots of Uttar Pradesh and 52.60 crore bulk litres to depots in other states.

In the current financial year up to November 2022, a total of 87.57 crore bulk litres of ethanol was extracted, out of which 43.55 crore bulk litres were supplied to the oil depots of Uttar Pradesh and 44.01 crore bulk litres to other states. In order to make the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) program of the Central Government a success, the units producing ethanol are being encouraged and the process of lifting and evacuation of power alcohol (ethanol) has been simplified. For this, an online system has been implemented.

In order to make the business of the liquor industry competitive, the effort of the department is to improve the system of supply, to make standard quality liquor available at reasonable prices and to provide proper benefits to the licence holders associated with the business on the investment made by them. Productivity increases at each level in the value chain and consumers get liquor supplies of their choice at competitive prices. The aim of the department is also to keep the consumption of alcohol within responsible and safe limits. Till the month of November 2022, there has been an increase of 13.3 per cent in the production of alcohol as compared to the same period last year.

This post was originally published in the lucknow tribune.