Agri Business

Sugar decontrol panel may submit report in 6 months

PTI New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

An expert committee on sugar decontrol, headed by the PMEAC Chairman, Dr C. Rangarajan, is expected to submit its report in the next six months, the Food Minister, Mr K.V. Thomas, said today.

“I recently met the Prime Minister Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) Chairman and requested him to submit the report within six months,” the Minister told reporters on the sidelines of a conference here.

On January 27, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, constituted an expert committee under the chairmanship of Dr C. Rangarajan to examine issues related to decontrolling the sugar sector.

Members of the committee include Dr Kaushik Basu, Chief Economic Adviser, Ministry of Finance, and secretaries to the Department of Food and Agriculture.

Other members of the panel are Mr Ashok Gulati, Chairman, Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, Mr Nand Kumar, former Agriculture Secretary, and Mr K.P. Krishnan, Secretary EAC Convener.

The sugar industry is under government control, right from the level of production to distribution.

In early January, representatives of the apex sugar industry bodies ISMA and NFCSF had met the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, seeking partial decontrol of the sector, including freedom to sell sugar in the open market and doing away with the levy obligation for public distribution system.

Under the levy obligation, sugar mills are required to sell 10 per cent of their output to the government at below-cost rates for supply to ration shops.

Mills supply levy sugar at 60 per cent of the cost of production, resulting in an annual industry loss of about Rs 2,500-3,000 crore.

The sugar industry has also been demanding removal of the monthly release system under which the Food Ministry allocates quantity of sugar to be sold in the open market every month.

Sugar production in India, the world’s second largest producer but the largest consumer, is estimated to touch 26 million tonnes against the annual demand of 22 mt.

Published on February 08, 2012

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