Govt takes step to control sugar price

Cabinet approves bringing the sweetener under the ambit of stock holding limits imposed on dealers


Sugar production till mid-April 2016, in the October-to-September sugar season, is lower by 2 million tonnes due to drought in key sugarcane growing states like Maharashtra, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. Photo: Bloomberg
Sugar production till mid-April 2016, in the October-to-September sugar season, is lower by 2 million tonnes due to drought in key sugarcane growing states like Maharashtra, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. Photo: Bloomberg

New Delhi: To check a potential increase in the price of sugar, the cabinet on Wednesday approved bringing the sweetener under the ambit of stock holding limits imposed on dealers.

“The government has noticed that in spite of sufficient availability of sugar stocks with the sugar mills, the wholesale and retail prices have shown a spurt,” an official statement said after a cabinet meeting.

“The union cabinet has given its approval to bring ‘sugar’ under the purview of imposing stock holding limits on dealers of sugar, keeping in view the recent upward trend in sugar prices,” the statement said.

The decision will empower state and central agencies to impose stock limits and regulate supply, distribution, storage and trading of sugar to bring down and maintain sugar prices at a reasonable level.

Sugar production till mid-April 2016, in the October-to-September sugar season, is lower by 2 million tonnes due to drought in key sugarcane growing states like Maharashtra, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. This has led a firming of sugar prices over the past month.

The government explained that it had taken stock of the availability of sugar and different factors contributing to the rise in market prices across the country.

“In order to check the inflationary tendencies in sugar and to reduce hoarding by wholesalers and retailers, Government felt an immediate need to bring sugar within the purview of stock limits,” the statement said.

A report by PTI, meanwhile, said sugar prices drifted lower by Rs.40 per quintal at the wholesale market in the national capital on Wednesday on increased supplies from millers amid subdued demand from stockists as well as bulk consumers.

Sugar prices also fell by 0.37% to Rs.3,498 per quintal in futures trade on Wednesday, another PTI report said.

The cabinet also approved the utilization of 400 hectares of uncultivable farm land at the Central State Farm (CSF), Jetsar, in Sri Ganganagar district of Rajasthan for setting up a solar power plant of capacity exceeding 200 MW.

The land is presently in possession of the National Seeds Corporation (NSC), a central public sector enterprise.

NSC will provide the 400 hectares of uncultivable land, out of the 5,394 hectares under its possession. The solar power project will yield revenue for NSC and also generate clean energy from the uncultivable land.

With inputs from Sayantan Bera.