New Delhi: The government is likely to take a decision on allowing sugar exports in the 2011-12 marketing year, which commenced this month, only after Diwali, as mills are yet to exhaust the export quota of 2010-11, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said on Thursday.
The sugar season runs from October to September.
"The government permitted 1.5 million tonnes of sugar exports in three equal tranches under open general licences (OGL) last season. The third tranche of exports has not yet been lifted. If it is lifted, then government will take a decision on more exports. By that time, Diwali will be over," Pawar said in an interview.
That apart, the minister pointed out that crushing operations in the current season are yet to start because of a labour shortage amid the festive season.
On Wednesday, Food Minister K V Thomas had also said that a decision on sugar exports would be taken in the first week of November after evaluating production estimates for the current season, as well as the price situation in both domestic and global markets.
He had also said that sugar exports will be allowed in phases and the quantity of shipments will be decided after reconciling production estimates.
The Food Ministry has pegged sugar output at 24.6 million tonnes this year, up from 24.3 million tonnes in 2010-11.
However, Pawar is of the view it will be 25 million tonnes.
The sugar industry has estimated production of 26-26.5 million tonnes of sugar this year.
The government had permitted 2.6 million tonnes of sugar export last year, both under open general licences (OGL) and the advance licence scheme (ALS), as the country's production exceeded demand after a gap of two years.
First Published: Thursday, October 13, 2011, 10:17