Industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Monday met Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to push for decontrol of the sugar sector in phases.
New Delhi: Industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Monday met Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to push for decontrol of the sugar sector in phases.
The CII has formed a new committee on sugar industry under the chairmanship of Ajay Shriram, who also heads the leading sugar producing firm DCM Shriram Consolidated Ltd.
The committee made a representation to Pawar demanding removal of levy sugar (supplied to ration shops) and freedom to sell the sweetener without government's control.
"There are many demands. Right now, we are focusing on removal of levy sugar and monthly release quota," Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) Director General Abinash Verma said.
Verma, who was present in the meeting, said, "The minister was positive on our demands."
At present, the Food Ministry controls sugar sector by deciding the quantity of sugar to be sold through open market as well as ration shops on monthly basis.
It also asks mills to contribute 10 percent of their sugar production for supply through ration shops at cheaper rates besides fixing the fair and remunerative price of sugarcane.
The CII's National Committee on Sugar is also planning to raise its demand before the Finance and Food Ministries.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Gopinath Munde met Food Minister K V Thomas and sought additional export of sugar.
Thomas said, "I met both Pawar and Munde on sugar exports and explained the stock situation and concerns of festival demand."
Currently, the country would have closing stock of 6 million tonnes, of which 5.5 million tonnes would be required during the festival season in October-December of 2011.
"If we lift the stock holding limit, the remaining 5,00,000 tonnes will be in the pipeline," he explained.
At present, the government has permitted 10 lakh tonne of sugar export under the open general licence scheme, as the country's sugar production is expected to be higher than the demand at 24.2 million tonnes this year. While the demand is estimated to be 21-21.5 million tonnes.