Expressing concerns over slow pace of sugar export, the government Friday directed mills to undertake shipment of their fixed quota and even threatened to take action against defaulting sugar mills.
To liquidate surplus stock and improve the liquidity of the sugar mills to facilitate them for clearance of cane price arrears of farmers, the government has asked domestic sugar mills to mandatory export 5 million tonnes in the 2018-19 marketing year (October-September). The government is even compensating expenses towards internal transport, freight, handling and other charges to undertake shipment.
“However, it has been observed that the sugar mills are not undertaking export of sugar at a desired pace. Only about 2.46 lakh tonne of sugar has been exported and contracts of only about 6 lakh tonne (including 2.46 lakh tonne of actual export) in the first quarter of the season,” the food ministry said in a statement.
The central government has taken a very serious view regarding non-compliance of the directives of the government by most of the sugar mills, it said.
“All the sugar mills have been once again advised to undertake export of sugar as per their allocated quantity of Minimum Indicative Export Quotas (MIEQ) failing which appropriate action would be initiated against the defaulting sugar mills,” the ministry said.
Sugar mills have also been asked to set their quarterly export targets and intimate the same to Department of Food & Public Distribution (DFPD). “Fulfilment of the quarterly export target by the sugar mills is monitored by DFPD. In case, a sugar mill fails to achieve its quarterly sugar export target, the equivalent quantity of un-exported sugar during the said quarter shall be deducted in three equal instalments,” the ministry warned.
India produced a record 32.5 million tonne of sugar in the 2017-18 marketing year and the output is estimated to be around same level or slightly lower in the current marketing year. The annual domestic demand is around 26 million tonne. The country also has an opening stock of 10 million tonne at the start of the current marketing year.