New Delhi: The country has no shortage of sugar and the government will ensure retail prices of the sweetener remain stable during the ongoing festive season, Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Wednesday.
At present, retail prices of sugar are ruling firm at Rs 43 per kg, slightly higher than Rs 40 a kg in the year-ago period, as per the data maintained by the consumer affairs ministry. “There is no shortage of sugar in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, major producing states. During the festival season, we will not allow prices to go up. We will ensure sugar rates remain stable,” the food and consumer affairs minister told reporters on the sidelines of an event.
There is no supply crunch in the country and the government has allowed southern mills to import 3 lakh tonnes of raw sugar at a concessional duty of 25 per cent to augment domestic supplies during the festival season, Paswan said.
The country has a sugar stock of 27.7 million tonnes, which includes domestic production of 20.2 million tonnes in 2016-17 and 5,00,000 tonnes of imports and 7 million tonnes of last year s stock, he added. Earlier, addressing the annual general meeting of National Cooperative Consumers Cooperation (NCCF), Paswan said the cooperative has made a profit of Rs 3.15 crore in the 2016-17 fiscal, as against the loss of 7.02 crore.
He also emphasised on the need to strengthen cooperatives such as NCCF.