Centre blames UP for high sugar prices

Centre blames UP for high sugar prices

The Uttar Pradesh government has imposed a ban on processing of imported raw sugar since a farmers’ protest over cane prices in November, leading to about 8 lakh tonnes of raw sugar lying at ports.

“Imported raw sugar is lying at Kandla port for more than two months as the UP government is not allowing millers to process,” Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar told reporters here. Sugar is selling at Rs 45 per kg in retail markets in Delhi, more than double from the level in January 2009.

To ease prices, the government is also considering extending the import window of white sugar by nine months till December. “When there is insufficient availability in the country, in such situation, if they (millers) would have processed, per month additional 2.5 lakh tonnes would have become available and this would have brought down prices,” Pawar said.

Noting that he has already written to the UP government for lifting the ban on raw sugar processing, Pawar said: “We have not been able to convince them and will try to request at highest level...we will resolve the UP problem with CCP”.

The Cabinet Committee on Prices (CCP) is scheduled to meet on Tuesday to discuss price rise in food items particularly sugar, which has seen its prices rising by Rs 6 a kg at Rs 45 since the beginning of the year.

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