Govt mulls raising levy sugar quota to boost supply



"The government is considering an increase in the percentage of levy sugar to make more sugar available through the public distribution system," Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said addressing state food ministers here on Wednesday.

At present, sugar mills are required to provide 10 per cent of their total production as levy sugar.

Pawar had two rounds of talks with the industry on ways of increasing supply of sugar. Among the solutions that were discussed were increasing levy sugar quota and incentivising farmers to grow more sugarcane crops.

"We will have to collectively think as to how we ensure that this sugar really reaches the intended beneficiaries," he said.

Pawar said sugar production for the next season "is not going to be bright," adding that sugar output in the current sugar season had declined from 263 lakh tonnes to about 160 lakh tonnes against the domestic requirement of 225-230 lakh tonnes, which had put pressure on the prices.

In recent weeks, the rates of sugar have reached about Rs 30 a kg in the retail market from Rs 17-18 per kg a year ago.

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