The issue of exporting 10,000 tonnes of sugar to EU despite its price doubling in the domestic market in a year has put NCP chief Sharad Pawars Food and Agriculture Ministry and Congress leader Anand Sharmas Commerce Ministry at loggerheads,with both shifting responsibility for the decision.
A day after Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari,quoting Sharma,said Pawars ministry was responsible for the decision,the latter on Thursday said the decision to export sugar was based on the recommendation from Sharmas ministry.
I spoke to the Commerce Minister today. It is true that permission (to export sugar) has been given. We are told that it was under contractual obligation. The (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) notification says that authorisation was given at the request of Sugar Exim Corporation,which squarely falls within the larger family of Agriculture Ministry, Tiwari said on Wednesday. The Commerce Ministry or Agriculture Ministry will be in a better position to explain it.
Pawars ministry hit back,saying,The Department of Commerce,Ministry of Commerce and Industry,informed the Department of Food and Public Distribution that EU is a vast market with high degree of potential for export of Indian agricultural products.
When sugar was in surplus,India has been requesting for opening the market and not restrict by quota or increase quota for India. Department of Commerce recommended that by not discharging/availing this quota India may lead EC to reduce quantities of import quota from India which may not be in countrys interest, said a communiqué.
Sources confirmed that the Commerce Ministry had sent its recommendations to the Food Ministry in December last year,subsequent to which the decision to export was cleared by DGFT under commerce ministry recently.