Pawar Wants Sugar at .₹ 40 to Help Cut Debt

The Economic Times - - Commodities Plus - Jayashree.Bhos­ale @times­group.com

Pune: NCP leader Sharad Pawar came to the de­fence of sugar mills – blamed for the drought in Ma­ha­rash­tra – on Thurs­day, ar­gu­ing that the mills had been there for the past 20 years, and the cur­rent wa­ter scarcity has noth­ing to do with them. He, how­ever, told ev­ery mill to spend up to .₹ 25 lakh for wa­ter con­ser­va­tion in the state.

Apart from ad­vis­ing mills to help in tack­ling the cur­rent drought, Pawar also briefed them about the im­pend­ing cen­tral govern­ment ac­tions in the wake of ris­ing prices.

As the cen­tral govern­ment we- ighs the op­tion of im­pos­ing stock limit on sugar to tame ris­ing prices, Pawar, who would be meet­ing cen­tral au­thor­i­ties on April 26, said re­tail prices should re­main at about .₹ 40 per kg, so that mills can re­pay their debt and set­tle cane prices with farm­ers as well.

The cur­rent stock of sugar in Ma­ha­rash­tra is 72 lakh tonnes com­pared to 44 lakh tonnes in Ut­tar Pradesh.

“Cen­tral govern­ment thinks that Ma­ha­rash­tra mills are hoard­ing sugar. How­ever, while mills want to sell sugar, traders are not ready to lift it. So, we will re­quest the cen­tral govern­ment to buy the sugar that’s not lifted by traders for their pub­lic dis­tri­bu­tion scheme,” said Pawar.

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