Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan
on Tuesday said the estimates of sugar
production provided by the Indian Sugar
Mills Association (Isma) were low and “misleading” and no import was required now because the country had enough sugar.
However, his anger at the association is unusual because so far the government
has been dealing with this industry body softly.
An official in the know of things said that the Isma’s final production estimates had been 10-12 per cent lower than the initial estimates and that was impacting policy decisions. However, the Isma
is satisfied with the minister’s statement that there was “no plan to cut the import duty
on the sweetener at least in the near term and India has ample stocks of sugar”.
At the beginning of the previous season, the Isma
had said production would be 28 million tonnes but it was 25.12 million tonnes and this season also it has cut the production estimate from 23 million tonnes to 20.3 million tonnes.
President T Sarita Reddy told Business Standard
, “We welcome the government
move not to cut the sugar import duty.
The minister has understood the necessity for the survival of the industry and safeguarding the lives of millions of sugarcane farmers. The Centre’s move will help the industry to clear its cane dues not only this year but also in the coming years”.