To stem the rise in the price of sugar, the state-run Kendriya Bhandar retail chain was on Thursday instructed to sell fine sugar loose at a subsidised rate of Rs 25.50 a kilo across its 60 shops.
This is the first time Kendriya Bhandar is selling loose sugar. Premium quality fine sugar was earlier available in packets for Rs 29 a kilo.
“We will be selling sugar loose so that the prices are stabilised,” said Jagdeesh Bhatia, Managing Director, Kendriya Bhandar.
Hindustan Times had on Wednesday reported that at non-regulated retail counters across the Capital, the price of premium quality sugar had risen up to Rs 35.
The Agriculture Ministry on Thursday claimed sugar prices in Delhi “never exceeded Rs 28”. But HT’s survey of some of the retail markets in Delhi revealed that packed sugar (Mawana, Shagun) was being sold for Rs 35 a kilo at retail counters. Inferior quality loose sugar was cheaper at Rs 29 to Rs 31 a kilo.
“A month ago, these brands were Rs 5 cheaper. Now, our buying price is Rs 31 and selling price is Rs 35,” said a retailer in RK Puram, who refused to be named fearing a raid and harassment at the hands of officials.
The ministry claimed it was in control of the situation.
“The Central government has taken a number of steps to augment the availability of sugar. The supplies would be sufficient to meet the demand in the coming months,” said Manoj Pandey, Additional Director General with the Ministry of Agriculture.
The prices of sugar started an upward march a month ago. The price rise is reportedly an effect of bad weather destroying the sugarcane crop and affecting sugar output.