New Delhi: The government on Tuesday decided to release 2.9 lakh tonnes of more sugar in the open market to control the sweetener's price that has risen by Rs 3 a kg in a fortnight.
"Sugar prices are rising. We are taking steps to control the price and we have decided to allocate 2.9 lakh tonnes of sugar in the open market for the July-September quarter," Food Minister K V Thomas told reporters here.
Pointing out that sugar rates have risen by Rs 5 to Rs 38 a kg in the last one year, he said government will release more quantity of sugar, if need arises, to control the prices.
Sugar prices were ruling at Rs 34-35 a kg in the national capital a fortnight ago and now have touched Rs 37-38 a kg.
Thomas said this 2.9 lakh tonnes of sugar was meant for supply through ration shops during 2008-09 and 2009-10 fiscal but the Food Ministry did not lift that quantity from mills.
Now, mills have been asked to sell this quantity in the open market during this quarter. An order in this regard will be issued soon, he added.
With this additional allocation of nearly 3 lakh tonnes, the total sugar availability in the current quarter would be 50 lakh tonnes.
The Food Ministry had allocated 45 lakh tonnes of sugar for sale in the open market in the current quarter. That apart, mills were given permission to sell 2 lakh tonnes of sugar that was unsold in the last quarter, Thomas said.
"All together, around five lakh tonnes of additional sugar has been allocated over and above 45 lakh tonnes for the current quarter," the minister said.
The country's sugar production is estimated at 26 million tonnes in 2011-12 marketing year (October-September), against the annual demand of 22 million tonnes.
First Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 23:13