Centre to allow sale of imported sugar

The decision was taken at a meeting on Wednesday convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and attended by Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and representatives from the industry, a source close to the development said.

Nearly nine lakh tonnes of raw sugar imported by millers are lying at ports after the Uttar Pradesh government banned the processing till the end of the crushing season (March) after the farmers’ protest over sugarcane pricing.

“If outright sale of imported sugar is allowed, its domestic availability will increase. This will also help in controlling the price,”  sources said.

Earlier this month, the Cabinet Committee on Prices had allowed millers in Uttar Pradesh to process imported raw sugar in other states following the ban imposed by the state.
However, the processing is yet to start as Uttar Pradesh mills and Maharashtra mills have disagreement over the processing charges. While Uttar Pradesh mills want to pay not more than Rs 4,000 a tonne, mills in Maharashtra and Gujarat are asking for about Rs 6,000 a tonne.
Sugar prices have mo
re than doubled since January 2009 and are currently being sold at about Rs 45 a kg in the retail market of the National Capital.

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