The Sugar Development Fund Act, 1982

The Act no. 4 of 1982 being the Central Government legislation was enacted by Parliament under the short title as ‘The Sugar Development Fund Act, 1982’. The purpose and object of the Act is shown to have enacted for providing to finance the activities for the development of sugar industry. The Act has received assent from the President of India on 19th March, 1982. The same was extended to the whole of India and the same was brought into operation on 1st June, 1982, as has been notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette. The present Act was amended several times and recently the fourth amendment of the same was promulgated by the President on 5th February, 2008.

The Act sought to define several important terms under its section 2 and under its section 3 it makes provisions as to formation of Fund namely the ‘Sugar Development Fund’ and the same is to be credited with the amount received under the provisions of the Sugar Cess Act, which was imposed and collected in the form of duty of excise after deduction therefrom the cost of collection of such duty of excise as has been determined by the Central Government. Further the same fund should also be credited with the amount received for the purpose of this Act by the Central Government and also any proceeds from any investments from such amount should also be credited to such Fund.

Section 4 makes provisions of utilization of such Fund. The Central Government is empowered under this provision to apply the Sugar Development Fund for the various purposes enumerated under this provision, which includes advancing of loans to facilitate the rehabilitation and also modernisation of any Sugar factory or unit thereof. Such loans can also be granted for development of sugar cane by scheme in any area where Sugar factory is situated. Such Fund can also be utilized by the Central Government to make grants for any research project which was set in motion with aim to develop Sugar industry. While granting such loans or grants the Central Government can also impose any conditions, etc. Fund should also be applied to defray expenditure to build up and maintain buffer stocks of sugar for establishing sugar price. And finally the last purpose for which such fund is to applied to meet any other expenses incurred under this Act. There is an another important provision in relation to such loans and grants as aforesaid. It is given under section 5 of the Act that, for availing loans or grants from the aforesaid Sugar Development Fund, a persons interested should first make an application in the prescribed form and manner to the Committee, which is constituted under section 6 of the Act. Such Committee is required to be constituted for ensuring speedy consideration and disposal of the applications of loans or grants made under section 5 of the Act. Not only this, but the Act requires such Committee to also consider the problems which may arose while administering the provisions of this Act. Such Committee is to be constituted by the Central Government where the officers of the Central Government to compose it and also the procedure regarding its composition and other procedures which the Committee should follow while discharging its function under this Act, will be prescribed, as said under this section 6 of the Act.

Moreover, section 7 of the Act requires publication of the Annual reports every financial year at the end of such year, relating to the accounts of activities financed under the provisions of this Act and also accounts statement therein. Such publication of annual reports is required to be caused by the Central Government. Even the Central Government can also require furnishing by the Occupier of the Sugar factories, the reports and returns under this Act including other statistical, etc. information within the prescribed period of time, as per section 8 of the Act.

Finally, the Central Government again empowered under this Act to provide for Rules under this Act, for the purpose of carrying out the effect of the provisions of this Act and also on the enlisted matter, which are enumerated under section 9 and subsection (2) thereof. The list of matter on which such rules to be provided is inclusive. Providing for manner in which loans or grants can be made under this Act and related conditions with which such loans or grants can be made, provisions as to composition of aforesaid Committee, its procedure, provisions as to prescribing forms and period of which such aforesaid statistical, etc. information to be furnished, and all other matters which will be deemed necessary by the Central Government, the rules should provide for. Procedure for passing such rules is also provided under subsection (3) thereof including the one relating to tabling the rules before houses of Parliament and other relevant aspects. Acting under this provision the Central Government has made rules namely, ‘the Sugar Development Fund Rules, 1983’, which were also amended several times including its recent amendment in the year, 2012.

by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.