Mumbai, Jul 10: Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said, "sugar decontrol decision this time will totally depends upon the production of sugar in the coming days. However we are predicting enough sugar production to meet the annual demand of 23 million tonnes."
Addressing a conference in Delhi, Pawar said "I feel the government and industry associations should sit together and take some major policy decisions. This is the only industry in the country which has too many government controls."
“We have to withdraw the government controls on the sugar industry and give full freedom to those who are managing the industry," Pawar added.
The government fixes the minimum price that the mills must pay sugarcane farmers and also dictates the sugar price. At present all the sugar industry is lobbying hard with centre to lift all the price controls on sugar.
However the ministry made it clear that the right to fix the support price of cane for farmers will definetely be with the government.
At present, sugar mills have to supply 20 percent of their production to the public distribution system at a price that the government fixes and the government also sets free sale quotas for the industry.
Last year in 2009, due to shortage of sugar cane output, sugar prices surged to almost Rs 50 per kg. Altho government is planning to control the sugar prices, all the decisions will depend on the production of sugar.
Pawar said the country will have enough sugar production in coming days to meet the annual demand of 23 million tonnes.