Sugar from Pakistan turns into bitter political blame game in Maharashtra
State minister of cooperation, marketing and textile, Subhash Deshmukh, said state will act against offenders.Updated: May 15, 2018 10:48 IST
State minister of cooperation, marketing and textile, Subhash Deshmukh, on Monday said stern action will be taken against those who import sugar from Pakistan.
The warning comes in the wake of protests, including those by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), Nationalist Congress party (NCP), and the Congress, against the imports when there has been bumper sugar production in the country.
Speaking at a function in the wholesale APMC market on Monday, Deshmukh said, “The sugar production in the country has been very good. While farmers are struggling to sell the huge stocks at prices that can cover their cost, the arrival of sugar stock from Pakistan has hit them further.” Strict action will be taken against those found involved in any malpractice, he said.
The MNS, led by its Navi Mumbai president Gajanan Kale, on Monday, burnt effigies and protested against the import of sugar. Kale said, “We have reports that around 60 to 65 lakh metric tonnes of sugar was imported by APMC traders with the help of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government.”
Chief of state Congress unit, Ashok Chavan also reiterated that the BJP government brought sugar from Pakistan. “This year, production of sugar is record high and the stocks are lying unsold. Ignoring this fact, the government allowed importing tonnes of sugar from Pakistan. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought sugar instead of bringing terrorist Dawood Ibrahim,” he said, referring the PM’s 2014 poll promise.
Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar said the government could have imposed 50% import duty to stop sugar import considering its high production. NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad from Thane also protested the import from Pakistan by tearing sugar bags stored in a godown in Navi Mumbai, police said.