Report on sugar decontrol by month-end: Rangarajan

On January 27,Prime Minister set up an expert committee to examine issues related to decontrolling sugar sector.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Published: September 18, 2012 5:44 pm

An expert committee on sugar decontrol,headed by PMEAC Chairman C Rangarajan,today said it will submit its recommendations by month-end.

“We have held all the deliberations. We have met with all the representatives of sugarcane growers,various state governments. So,we are in a position to submit the report within the next 10-15 days at the maximum,” Prime Minister Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) Chairman C Rangarajan told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.

In its previous meeting held early this month,the expert committee had almost agreed on broad issues,including freeing the sugar sector in phases.

On January 27,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh set up an expert committee,under chairmanship of Rangarajan,to examine issues related to decontrolling the sugar sector.

Members of the committee include former Chief Economic Adviser Kaushik Basu and secretaries to the Department of Food and Agriculture.

The sugar industry is under government control,right from the level of production to distribution.

In early January,the representatives of the apex sugar industry bodies ISMA and NFCSF had sought partial decontrol of the sector,including freedom to sell sugar in the open market and doing away with the levy obligation for the Public Distribution System.

Under the levy obligation,sugar mills are required to sell 10 per cent of their output to the government at below- cost rates for supply to ration shops. Mills supply levy sugar at 60 per cent of the cost of production,resulting in an annual industry loss of about Rs 2,500-3,000 crore.

Sugar production in the 2011-12 season (October-September) is expected to be 26 million tonnes,against the annual demand of 22-23 million tonnes.

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