Sugar output pegged at 27 mn tonne in 2007-08

New Delhi, Feb 28 | Updated: Feb 29 2008, 05:02am hrs
Sugar production in India, the world's second largest producer, is estimated to decline by one million tons in 2007-08 season ending September this year.

"In 2007-08 sugar season, sugar production is preliminarily estimated at about 27 million tonne," the Economic Survey, which was tabled in the Parliament on Thursday, said. The output in 2006-07 season has been provisionally estimated at 28 million tonne, it added.

According to the survey, the sugar availability in the current season would be 38 million tonne, taking into account the carry-over stock of 11 million tonne from last season. There would be enough availability of the sweetener in the season, the survey said, adding that the annual consumption is estimated at 20 million tonne.

Among various reform options, the survey also favoured the "phase out" control on sugar sector as the government regulates the industry right from setting up new factories till the sweetener reaches the consumers.

Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) has also been demanding withdrawal of some controls like regulated release mechanism for sale of sugar in the open market and supply of 10% levy sugar.

Instead of subjecting the industry to levy mechanism, ISMA has suggested that the government should buy sugar from open market for supply under public distribution system. The government has also fixed a minimum distance of 15 km from the existing factory for setting up new units.

PTI