While its proposal to deregulate the sugar industry is yet to get Cabinet approval,the Food Ministry on Tuesday allowed sugar mills to sell 10.4 million tonnes of sugar in the open market from April to September.
Sugar mills are allowed to sell the entire quota in the next six months without any inter-month restrictions,the government said. It is for the first time that the government has determined the quantity of sugar that mills can sell for a six month period.
The sugar industry is controlled by the government right from production to distribution. The Food Ministry has already proposed unshackling of the industry from this decades-old control.
Currently,the sugar industry sells 10 per cent of its output to the government at state-determined prices for sale through public distribution system. The government also determines the quantity of sugar that mills can sell in the open market on a quarterly basis to check hoarding and to keep supplies steady. The Food Ministry has proposed dispensing of with both.
In Tuesdays decision,the Food Ministry noted that the sugar quota for open market sale would be released to those mills which have submitted online production returns.