The government has no plan as of now to bring back the control raj and re-introduce a release order mechanism to control sugar sales by mills, food minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Monday. Some media reports recently suggested that the food ministry was mulling such a move to tame rising sugar prices.
The government had in 2012 announced the sugar sector “decontrol” by scrapping the release order mechanism through which it used to dictate how much of sugar a mill could sell in a month. It had also abolished the levy system, which mandated that mills would sell 10% of their production to the government at heavily subsidised rates.
Listing out the measures taken by the government to help mills clear cane arrears owed to farmers — including two subsidised loan packages — in times of a crash in sugar prices, Paswan also said the government recently initiated measures to control the price rise in sugar. “We have taken various steps, no curb on mills’ sales, as of now,” he said at the Idea Exchange programme of the Indian Express Group.
In June, the government imposed a 20% duty on exports of sugar to keep domestic supplies steady. The government has taken a raft of measures in recent weeks to curb a rise in sugar prices, including suspending an earlier order for the compulsory sugar exports of 3.2 million tonne and capping the amount of sugar that dealers and traders can pile up at 500 tonne across states, except Kolkata.