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'Irresponsible statement of Minister led sugar price hike'

Written by: Staff

Kanpur, July 6 (UNI) Irresponsible statement by the Union Consumer Affairs Minister and artificial crisis created by mill owners are responsible for sugar price rise in the country, Cawnpore Sugar Merchants Association (CSMA) has alleged.

CSMA has urged the centre to drop the plan of stockholding limits and future trading in sugar to maintain reasonable price levels.

In a letter to the Union Finance Secretary, a copy of which was released to the media here today, Association secretary Ramesh Agrawal said while sugar prices hovered at Rs 23/24 level, the Consumer Affairs Minister issued a statement in Parliament saying the prices were at reasonable level and could not be reduced.

''His statement has resulted in artificial shortage. Even mill owners started storing sugar in the name of their sugar selling agents or in the name of subsidiaries,'' Mr Agrawal claimed.

The news that government planned stockholding limits for sugar and future trading in sugar was also responsile for price rise, he reasoned.

CSMA said with the opening stock of 48 lakh tonnes and estimated sugar production of 195 lakh tonnes in the current crushing season, the total avalability of sugar comes to 243 lakh tonnes.

''Out of internal consumption recorded at 185 lakh tonnes in previous year, there was no sign of sugar shortage and as such no valid ground to increase the price.'' UNI KSP VS VJ GC1932

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