The Government has given a final call to all legal entities engaged in sugar trade to declare their stocks on a Food Ministry website by October 17, and warned that strict action will be taken against those for violation.

On September 23, the Food Ministry had issued an order directing all sugar stakeholders —wholesalers, retailers, big chain retailers and processors — to weekly update their stock position on its website.

The Ministry, however, observed that many of the legal entities dealing with sugar trade/storage have "still not registered" themselves on the sugar stock management system.

"Various instances have been reported to the Directorate of Sugar and Vegetable Oils, where many of these legal entities are having possession of a substantial quantity of unreported sugar stocks," the ministry said in a letter written to all stakeholders.

“There are cases where these entities are not updating their sugar stock on a regular basis,” it said, adding this not only violates the regulatory framework in place but also disrupts the overall sugar market equilibrium.

"Therefore, it is hereby directed that all legal entities involved in the sugar industry must immediately register themselves on the sugar market information system they have not done so," the Ministry said.

“They have also been asked to update the stock position on a weekly basis, as it is essential to maintain an accurate record of sugar stock levels,” it said.

The Ministry further said, "All legal entities shall comply with the direction on immediate basis. Failure to register and update stock position may result in penalties and sanctions".

This should be complied by October 17, and this may be treated as a last opportunity, the Ministry said and warned strict action under the Essential Commodities Act will be taken against those for violation.

The government is closely monitoring the sugar stocks to keep prices under check amid apprehension of a shortfall in domestic production in the 2023-24 season that started from this month.