Pawar's meeting with PM raises speculations over sugar price issue

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New Delhi, Jan. 27 (ANI): Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, who has been in the line of fire for the skyrocketing prices of food, sugar and other commodities, held a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday.

Sources said Pawar as well owners of large sugar mills met Prime Minister over the escalating sugar prices.

Singh was expected to meet chief ministers of the states to discuss the issue of soaring prices of essential commodities. But before that, the meeting between Pawar, sugar barons and Singh raised speculations in the media.

Pawar refused to disclose the details of his meeting with Singh.

Earlier, Pawar had shrugged off the blame for soaring commodity and food prices by saying that the price policy was a collective effort of the cabinet, including the Prime Minister.

In order to tame rising sugar prices in the domestic market, the central government had earlier relaxed import of refined sugar at zero duty upto the end of this year.

The Cabinet Committee on Prices (CCP) had also permitted mills of Uttar Pradesh state to process imported raw sugar outside the state due to restrictions there.

India's wholesale price index (WPI) rose 7.3 percent in December from a year earlier, driven by a near 20 percent jump in food prices after severe weather hit crops across the country. (ANI)

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