New Delhi [India], September 15 (ANI): Timely measures of the central government have ensured sufficient availability of sugar at reasonable prices throughout the country for the whole year, said an official statement from Department of Food and Public Distribution from Ministry of Consumer Affairs on Thursday.
As the current Sugar Season (Oct-Sep) 2022-23 is coming to an end on September 30, 2023, India has already crossed sugar production of 330 LMT excluding diversion of about 43 LMT for ethanol production. Thus, total sucrose production in the country would be about 373 LMT which is second highest in last 5 sugar seasons, added the official statement.
Ensuring priority to Citizens of the Country and clearance of cane due to farmers, India restricted export quota to about 61 LMT only. This has resulted in an optimal stock of approximately 83 LMT of sugar at the end of August, 2023.
This stock is sufficient to meet approximately 3 and half months of consumption i.e. optimum stock available in the country at the end of current sugar season 2022-23. This fact reassures the domestic consumers that sugar is expected to be available for them at a reasonable price in future also, read the official statement further.
As forecasted by IMD, till date monsoon has been normal in September 2023 and sugarcane areas of Maharashtra and Karnataka have also received rains improving prospects for better crops and recovery in ensuing Sugar Season 2023-24. State Cane Commissioners of all sugar-producing states have been requested to keep a watch on the status of crops and update their information on area under cane, yield and anticipated sugar production.
This information would become basis for taking any decision regarding sugar export policy for next season. Government of India has always prioritize availability of sugar for domestic consumption, diversion for ethanol production and sufficient closing balance at the end of season. Only surplus sugar, if available, is allowed for exports. This mechanism ensures stability of prices in domestic market. It is the outcome of this policy only that Indian consumers are getting sugar at one of the lowest prices in the world with no government subsidy to the sugar mills, as mentioned in the official statement.
In addition, as a proactive measure, Government of India has sought information related to traders from various sugar mills so that a mechanism may be put in place to closely monitor sugar stock in various parts of the country. Industry Associations also, in their feedback, have confirmed sufficient stocks and appreciated that achievement of optimum closing balance of sugar at the end of season has resulted in better financial status of mills, read the official from Department of Food and Public Distribution.
It is outcome of all collective efforts of Government and Industry that more than Rs 1.07 crores (94 per cent of cane dues of current season) have already been paid by mills which further creates enthusiasm among farmers about the Sugar Sector. (ANI)