Sugar is set to become one of the most expensive essential commodities, with prices expected to exceed Rs 50 per kg by the first week of January 2010 if the government does not intervene immediately, a state Congress leader has warned.
Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Kanhaiyalal Gidwani has shot off an urgent letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, urging them to “study the situation in totality” and import sugar in the “better interest of the common man” before the situation gets out of hand.
“India’s sugar production has dropped for the last two years. The expected production for 2009-10 is expected to be a mere 160 lakh metric tons as against an annual requirement of 220 lakh metric tons. This is the main reason why prices have continuously risen — right now, it’s Rs 35 per kg and rising. At this rate, it will cross Rs 50 per kg in the next two months,” Gidwani wrote.
“The Union government needs to take immediate action to strengthen its buffer stock of sugar, which is currently as low as 20 lakh metric tons, against the normally held stock of a minimum of 60 lakh metric tons. To get to that stage, the government must immediately import 50 lakh metric tons,” he added.