Saturday, July 13, 2024

Shekhar Swarup Appointed as New President of AIDA

The All India Distillers’ Association (AIDA) has announced Shekhar Swarup as its new President. Shekhar Swarup, Joint Managing Director of Globus Spirits Ltd, Haryana, has succeeded Chandan Shirgaokar of Ugar Sugar Works Ltd, who led the association successfully for five years. Aashik Shamanur, Director of Shamanur Sugars Limited, has taken over as the Vice President of AIDA.

Highlights from the AGM

The announcement came during AIDA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on June 6, 2024. This meeting marked the end of Chandan Shirgaokar’s five-year tenure as President. In his address, Shirgaokar expressed gratitude to the member factories and Director General V N Raina for their support and cooperation. He emphasized AIDA’s commitment to the Hon. Prime Minister’s National Agenda of achieving a 20% ethanol blending target by 2025. The Ethanol Blending Programme aims to substitute fossil fuels and boost the distillery industry, thereby enhancing agricultural growth for sugarcane, maize, and rice.

Achievements and Challenges

Shirgaokar highlighted significant achievements during his tenure, noting that grain-based distilleries have achieved approximately 100% growth in ethanol production in the past year through aggressive expansion and investments. He mentioned that while grain-based distilleries supplied 9 crore litres of ethanol in 2018-19, the current supply season’s allocation stands at 416 crore litres. He expressed optimism that by 2025-26, grain-based distilleries will surpass the 500 crore litres benchmark with government support.

He also acknowledged the industry’s resilience during tough times, including dealing with non-remunerative feedstock and ethanol prices and sudden changes in FCI policy. The industry adapted by shifting to alternative feedstock such as maize. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the distillery industry responded to the government’s appeal by manufacturing hand sanitizers, with some members even entering the pharma sector.

Vision for the Future

Newly elected President Shekhar Swarup addressed the AGM, emphasizing the importance of promoting the production of ethanol. He highlighted the need to address issues related to DDGS production, availability, and sales, which are crucial for the industry’s growth. Swarup expressed his commitment to taking up these matters strongly within the association to enhance ethanol production.

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