To overcome inconsistencies in farm export-import policy,Food Minister K V Thomas today said the government is considering allowing a minimum level of quantity for export of select agri-commodities to help India become a stable player in the global market.
“We are working on a mechanism to have a stable export-import policy on select agricultural commodities such as sugar,wheat and rice,” Thomas said at the Kingsman 4th Indian Sugar Conference here.
“It is not good that some years we start exporting and suddenly we stop. We are in discussion with the Commerce Ministry to allow wheat,rice and sugar exports at certain level,” he said.
The stable policy on export will help both farmers and industry,he added.
Thomas also noted that the present export policy on wheat,rice and sugar will continue.
The country has exported 3.15 million tonnes of sugar so far this year. Besides,about 2.5 million tonnes of wheat and more than 4 million tonnes of non-basmati rice have been shipped since September 2011,when the export ban on these two items was lifted.
On decontrol of the sugar sector,Thomas said,”We have been conscious about theneed to revisit regulatory norms on the sugar sector. The Rangarajan Committee on sugar decontrol has finalised the report and will very soon submit to the Prime Minister.”
Once the report is approved,it will be ready for implementation,he added.
The sugar sector is the only industry which is fully controlled by the government. It is regulated right from the production of sugar through distribution in domestic and global markets.
On sugar production for next year,Thomas said,”We are likely to produce enough sugar to meet the consumption demand and will perhaps have a small exportable surplus.”
However,the government will formulated the first estimate on sugar output end of this month in consultation with state sugar commissioners,he added.
The country’s sugar economy is approximately USD 16 million and impacts 50 million farmer families.
India is estimated to have produced 26 million tonnes in the ongoing 2011-12 marketing year (October-September),as against the annual demand of 22-23 million tonnes.