In what has come as a sweetener in the festive season, the prices of sugar have fallen by more than Rs 200 per quintal in Punjab. However, the benefits have not entirely trickled down to the end consumers.
As per the information, the Centre had recently issued instructions to the sugar mills telling them to utilise their quota of sugar within a stipulated time frame or the remaining stock will be treated as waste. Fearing loss, the sugar mills pushed their stored stock into the open market creating a problem of plenty while bringing down both the wholesale and retail prices of the essential commodity.
Good quality sugar is now available at Rs 37 a kg against Rs 39-40 a kg earlier while the medium quality sugar is going for Rs 35 a kg in the wholesale market. The fall in prices came over a period of several days.
Jagjit Singh, president, Wholesale Sugar Association of Punjab, said, “This fall in the prices came about in the last 20 days. Sugar is available in plenty now and retailers should also pass this benefit to the customers.”
The new sugarcane crop has also reached the market and the crushing has already begun further bringing down the prices of the end product.
It may be mentioned that in retail market, this benefit has not yet been passed on to the customers. In fact, the sweetmeat shop and bakery owners, who had till days back bought sugar at Rs 40 a kg, have hiked the prices of their products by as much as 25 per cent compared to last year. However, the shop owners blame inflation and increased prices of the raw materials for the hike in rates of sweets and baked items. “Sugar is not the only ingredient. The prices of every ingredient has gone up. Even the transportation has become costlier owing to hike in diesel prices. We are forced to add this cost,” Narinder Singh, president of Halwai Association, said.