Centre orders cut in sugar stocks, Maharashtra body moves Bombay High Court

By: | Published: September 27, 2016 6:07 AM

The Maharashtra State Cooperative Sugar Factories Federation (MSCSFF) on Monday has filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court challenging the Centre’s directives to reduce sugar stocks to 37% by this month-end.

The Maharashtra State Cooperative Sugar Factories Federation (MSCSFF) on Monday has filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court challenging the Centre’s directives to reduce sugar stocks to 37% by this month-end, top officials of the federation said.

Mills are unhappy with the Centre’s directive fixing stock holding limit and have sought relief against this order. The move by the government has been taken with the aim of keeping retail prices under control.

According to top officials of the federation, as on September 19, at least 90 cooperative mills had stocks to the tune of some 31 lakh tonne and rates have now slid down to R3,200 per quintal.

Sanjeev Babar, MD, MSCSFF, said that the rates have come down drastically and mills are going through a tough phase and they would end up incurring heavy losses. “The government has imposed duties on export, withdrawn the export subsidy and has imposed stock limits. The crushing is expected to be less in the new season since the acreage has dropped down by 50%. A normal season lasts around 160 days but this season could be shorter to barely 110 days,” Babar pointed out.

As per the government directives, each sugar mill should not hold over 37% of total sugar available with it during the 2015-16 sugar season (Oct-Sep).

According to Shivajirao Nagawade, chairman, MSCSFF, the last couple of seasons have been bad for the millers. Around 69 factories have ended up with losses of R900 crore for the 2014-15 season and the total accumulated losses by the mills in the state are around R2,900 crore, he had said earlier.

The federation had earlier approached the Centre seeking relief against the directive and had also written to Maharashtra CM on September 8 seeking a solution. However, since no measures were taken, the federation has approached the court, he said.

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