In a move that would weed out the ubiquitous fly-by-night sugar exporters, the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) and Maharashtra Sugar Growers’ Federation would jointly help the government to increase sugar exports through a transparent procedure. This procedure would be strictly monitored through a special cell that was set up on Monday.
The guidelines for boosting sugar exports were finalised in consultation with the national body Import Export Corporation of India.
The setting up of the sugar export cell is primarily aimed at avoiding the earlier experience of ‘sugar export scandals’ that saw large quantities of sugar meant for exports diverted to the local markets.
The state’s sugar export cell would be headed by the state sugar commissioner Bijay Kumar. MSCB managing director HR Shinde and the sugar federation managing director Prakash Naiknavare would be two other members of the cell.
A meeting of members of this sugar export cell was held in Mumbai on Monday, after which the sugar commissioner was to give the final touches to the detailed procedure to be adopted by the cell in monitoring the sugar exports.
"We expect to export around 2 lakh tonne of sugar by the end of this month", said Mr Naikravare. "The timing of setting up of the cell is most appropriate especially because till early January 2003, there will be no exporter of white sugar in the global market, and therefore, we hope to get a good price for our sugar".
The MSCB, has under its vigilance around 4 million tonne of sugar produced by the state’s sugar cooperative mills. It is currently finalising the set of guidelines under which it will release for exports the pledged sugar.
Sugar prices in the international market have already been firming up. Even the Thailand sugar is said to have indicated a premium of $16 per tonne over the existing FOB prices and is likely to compete from first week of January 2003. The Brazilian sugar is expected to pose a competition, but not before April 2003.