Sugar prices fall in retail market, says Pawar
Government today said sugar prices, which had touched Rs 50 per kg in the retail market, have come down and the rates would further decline with major improvement in production in the current season.business Updated: Apr 30, 2010 16:31 IST
Government today said sugar prices, which had touched Rs 50 per kg in the retail market, have come down and the rates would further decline with major improvement in production in the current season.
Answering questions in the Rajya Sabha, Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar disagreed with Opposition members that sugar prices have not fallen in the recent past.
"It is true that sugar is being sold at Rs 35 per kg in some places. But considering that last year it was selling at Rs 50 per kg, prices have indeed come down," Pawar said.
He said government expects sugar production of 180 lakh tonnes in the present season (October 2009-September 2010). Last year the production was significantly low at 150 lakh tonnes leading to shortages and price hike.
"I am sure that sugar prices will go down," he said, adding more sugarcane would be planted in the wake of attractive cane prices paid to the farmers.
"The kinds of prices given to them last year were never ever offered. If prices are good, greater number of farmers would be encouraged to plant sugarcane," he said.
Pawar asked Opposition members to be realistic stating that they cannot expect sugar to be sold at Rs 15 per kg if farmers have to be paid a fair price for cane. A balance between sugar consumer and cane producer has to be maintained, he said.
The minister said import duty on sugar was removed last year to rein in prices.