Gadkari, who shared dais with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Pawar at a conference of state sugar factories, said the crisis of financial viability of the industry should be handled "without politicising the issue" and by looking for long-term solutions.

"I and Pawar will be meeting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to discuss the sugar industry crisis. There are certain recommendations under consideration of the Central government aimed at reviving the industry. A final decision will be taken by the Prime Minister and the cabinet," he said.

The Minister, who himself runs three sugar factories in Vidarbha region, said, "If sugar factories are closed, it will result in loss of employment for a large number ofpeople."

Noting the financial crisis created by the gap between the sugar prices and the stipulated FRP (Fair and Remunerative Price) to the cane growers, Gadkari appealed to Fadnavis to
convene a meeting of all party leaders and representatives of farmers' organisations to discuss the FRP factor and prevent closure of factories.

"This may call for taking some unpopular but necessary decisions," he added.

Stating that cultivation of sugarcane should be reduced in the view of the lesser demand, Gadkari said the farmers should instead go in for crops such as oilseed and pulses.

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