Blaming the Centre for skyrocketing sugar prices, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati today ruled out allowing mills in her state to process imported raw sugar despite requests by the Centre to lift the restrictions.
"Till the time all cane is crushed, the state government will not allow processing of raw sugar by the mills in the
state," Mayawati told a press conference here.
Her comments came a day after the Centre was compelled to relax the Excise Rules to enable UP mills to process imported
raw sugar outside the state to rein in prices, which have gone up to almost Rs.50 a kg.
About 9 lakh tonnes of imported raw sugar is lying at different ports as the UP mills were not allowed by the state
government to process the same.
Justifying her stand, Mayawati said the measure was taken in the larger interest of cane growers.
She alleged that the Centre was solely responsible for skyrocketing prices of sugar.
"The Centre did not create a buffer stock in 2006-07 and 2007-08 when the production was at its peak. Without assessing the requirement, it allowed exports at minimum prices. As a result, people are forced to buy sugar at prices three times higher," she said.
However, she said, officers have been directed to take stern action against hoarders and blackmarketeers.
Mayawati said she has taken steps like fixing the stock limit to check hoardings.
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had yesterday blamed the Uttar Pradesh government for not heeding to its repeated
requests to lift these restrictions on processing of imported raw sugar.