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Sugar Development Fund

Sugar Development Fund as the name suggests is used to provide for financing the activities for development of sugar industry and for matters connected with it. Sugar Development Fund Act was enacted in 1982 to provide for the Sugar Development Fund.

Sources of Funds in SDF
Funds in SDF comes from the sugar cess imposed by Government on the sugar mills under Sugar Cess Act, 1982 as well as the money allocated by the Central government specifically to this fund during budget.

The Sugar Development Fund Act, 1982 provides for the purposes for which the fund shall be used. Under it, loans are given to sugar factories for modernization-cum-expansion, setting-up of bagasse based cogeneration power projects, manufacture of ethanol from alcohol/molasses, zero liquid discharge (ZLD) distillery projects, case development schemes, etc. Since inception, about Rs 7,500 crore has been disbursed to sugar factories.

This fund is managed by the Department of Food and Public Distribution under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

Significance of the Fund

Sugar, the second-largest agro-based industry in India, is a sector of immense importance to the Indian economy. Indian Sugar Industry impacts livelihoods of about 50 million farmers and their families and provides direct employment to over 5 lakh skilled and semi-skilled persons in sugar mills and related industries. Constant technological upgradation and expansion are needed to improve productivity and meet the increasing demand.

Revolving Fund
The SDF is a revolving fund which means loans cleared will be used again for lending else the availability of fund will become less.

Recently in News
Since the implementation of Goods and Service Tax (GST) has subsumed many cesses, the sugar cess too got subsumed. In this regard, the Central Government has decided to raise the corpus of SDF by Rs. 500 crore in the budget2018-19.

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