No decision on sugar decontrol

No decision on sugar decontrol New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Tuesday did not take up the proposal to decontrol the sugar sector as Finance Minister P Chidambaram is away on a foreign tour.

"The proposals on sugar and fertiliser were not taken up as the Finance Minister was not present," Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari told reporters here.

Chidambaram is on an official visit to Japan.

The Fertiliser Ministry has moved a proposal before the Cabinet to approve subsidy for P&K fertiliser under Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) scheme for 2013-14 fiscal, helping the government save about Rs 5,000 crore in the subsidy outgo.

The proposal also includes directing manufacturers to pass on the benefit of lower global prices to farmers by slashing retail prices of P&K nutrients by up to Rs 1,500 per tonne.

The food ministry has also moved a proposal before the CCEA to remove two major controls of the sugar sectors -- levy sugar system and regulated release mechanism.

The sugar sector is highly regulated. Through the release mechanism, the Centre fixes the sugar quota that can be sold in the open market.

Under the levy system, it asks mills to contribute 10 percent of output to run ration shops costing the industry Rs 3,000 crore a year.

PTI