The Food Ministry has asked sugar mills to furnish by September 12, details of the quantity of sugar sold in each month during the May-August period as the government wants to ensure no hoarding takes place by traders during festival season. This is seen as part of the Centre’s efforts to curb any rise in prices of essential commodities.

In a late evening Order communicated on Friday to all sugar mills, copies of which were marked to three leading associations of sugar factories and traders, the ministry has asked them to share it with their members for wider dissemination.

Issued under Clause 5 of the Sugar Control Order, 1966, the mills have been directed to submit by September 12, data of sugar sold to “traders,/wholesalers, other than sugar mills”. The government has also issued a format in which the information has to be shared.

“In order to have complete data of sugar stocks with sugar traders, dealers, wholesalers, big retail chains and processors etc to ensure sufficient availability of sugar at reasonable prices in the country,” the government has decided to collect the data, according to the Order.

However, some sugar mills have expressed surprise at the Order as deadline given is too short to comply. “First of all, it is our business and the buyers’ information should not be asked for with PAN details etc, though sugar is an essential commodity. Whatever information the government wants can be shared within a reasonable time when past records are concerned,” said a mill owner requesting not to be named. But, there are many other mills which said that it is not a problem since all records/data are computerised.

As per the format shared, the mill has to furnish each buyer’s purchased quantity, month-wise from May to August along with PAN number, GST number and mobile number.

“The government must not panic as the country has enough stock of sugar looking at domestic consumption of 27.5 million tonnes against production of 32.8 mt. Both the carry-over stock and export was at same level of 6.1 mt, each,” an industry official said.