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Sugar at Rs 20 a kg: officials gear up to meet deadline

Ration shops will begin supplying sugar at Rs 20 per kg September 7 onwards following a state government directive issued on Saturday night...

Written by Ranjani Raghavan | Pune |
August 31, 2009 12:08:03 am

Ration shops will begin supplying sugar at Rs 20 per kg September 7 onwards following a state government directive issued on Saturday night and officials are now on their toes to ensure there’s enough supply for the exercise that’s expected to benefit close to 17 lakh ration cardholders in Pune district.

The beneficiaries include 15 lakh Above Poverty Line,1.71 lakh Below Poverty Line,70,000 Antoday and 1,200 Annapurna cardholders.

“Till now,each cardholder used to get half-a-kg sugar,procured from around four sugar firms around Pune district,every month. Now,cardholders will get Rs 1 kg at the subsidised rate. The government has earmarked 10 sugar companies in Pune and its outskirts to supply sugar,” said Ravi Kulkarni,district supply officer.

“We are on a warpath and will be issuing orders for the procurement from the companies for the ration shops immediately. We should be able to meet the September 7 deadline,” Kulkarni said.

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The directive comes at a time when traders had been expecting sugar prices to further increase and touch Rs 35 per kg because of the festive season. District officials say they have been cracking down on traders hoarding sugar.

“Sugar is now selling at a slightly reduced rate of Rs 2,900 per quintal at the wholesale market,the retail price is around Rs 30 per kg. The spread of H1N1 virus has helped in cooling off demand,but district officers have also been conducting inspections on a regular basis to control hoarding,” said Vijay Gujarati,president of the Pune Sugar Traders Association.

According to Central government regulations,retail traders cannot stock more than 200 qunitals of sugar at a time and this stock has to be compulsorily exhausted within 30 days. For wholesale dealers,it is 2,000 quintals a month.

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“We have conducted four raids in the last two months and are conducting intensive inspections daily to control hoarding,” said Kulkarni.

The government has been in a similar fix over tur dal as well,which had touched a peak of Rs 100 per kg last month. In the third week of August,the government issued orders to supply tur at ration shops at Rs 54.50 per kg. However,the district collectorate has been struggling to meet the demand for tur at public distribution system outlets.

Orders for 1,600 tonnes of tur were received for August and the first allotment was 637 tonnes. However,the district collectorate has received a meagre 17 tonnes so far. “This is a small quantity which is why we have not begun distributing it as it will lead to inequitable distribution. The amount we have will be consumed by Baramati and urban Pune alone,” Kulkarni said.

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The tur dal supply is expected to increase next week after which it will be made available at ration shops. “ The delay is primarily because tur is being imported from Malaysia,” Kulkarni said.

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First published on: 31-08-2009 at 12:08:03 am

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