The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved extending the stock limit on sugar by six months till October to boost its availability in the open market and help control the price rise. At present, sugar is being sold at an average Rs 42-44 per kg in most retail markets in the country.
Prices are expected to be under pressure due to domestic shortages. The CCEA -- headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- has approved the Food Ministry's proposal to extend the stock limit on sugar by six months, according to sources. The move is expected to improve the availability of sugar to general public at reasonable rates and control the tendencies of hoarding and profiteering. Currently, there is a stock limit of 500 tonne and turnover limit of 30 days for sugar traders in the country other than those in West Bengal. The stock limit for traders in West Bengal is 1,000 tonne. The country's sugar output is estimated to fall for the second consecutive year to around 20 million tonnes in 2016-17 season (October-September), much lower than the annual demand of 24-25 million tonnes. To boost domestic supply, the government has allowed duty free import of 5,00,000 tonnes of raw sugar till June.