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  Metros   Mumbai  15 May 2018  Pak sugar row raises Cong hackles

Pak sugar row raises Cong hackles

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : May 15, 2018, 1:59 am IST
Updated : May 15, 2018, 1:59 am IST

Sakuma Exports Limited has exported chocolates to Pakistan and imported some 20,000 tonnes of sugar under the barter system.

Such imports caused the price of sugar to crash in the domestic market, it was alleged. (Photo: Debasish Dey)
 Such imports caused the price of sugar to crash in the domestic market, it was alleged. (Photo: Debasish Dey)

MUMBAI: The Congress on Monday raised questions as to who had given permission to a Delhi-based company to import sugar from Pakistan, at a time when the country has 320 lakh tonnes of sugar in excess in its stock. Former cooperation minister and Congress leader Harshwardhan Patil alleged that such imports led to the price of sugar to crash in the domestic market.

“A Delhi-based company called Sakuma Exports Limited has exported chocolates to Pakistan and imported some 20,000 tonnes of sugar under the barter system. Why is this being done at the cost of our farmers? Who gave them permission for the imports,” he said. Sakuma has imported 20,000 tonnes of white sugar from Pakistan. Mr Patil claimed that the import policy of the Centre would affect domestic sugarcane producers to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore.

“The losses for sugarcane cultivators in Maharashtra itself would be around rs 3,000 crore. With low prices domestically, how will sugar mills pay farmers from whom they have procured sugarcane,” Mr Patil asked. The Congress leader also reminded the Centre that arrears of Rs 30,000 of sugar growing farmers are pending across the country.  

State Congress chief Ashok Chavan asked the Union government for an explanation and alleged that these imports had resulted in sugar prices per tonne falling from Rs 36,000 to Rs 24,000.

He also ridiculed Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stating that while the latter claimed that he would get fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim from Pakistan, all his government was managing to do was to bring in sugar from the neighbouring country. “Modi had promised to brought Dawood from Pakistan but he got sugar. If Pakistani artists are opposed by Shiv Sena, the ruling party should also oppose Pakistani sugar and encourage sugar export of our farmers,” Mr Chavan said.

India has produced 320 metric tonnes of sugar this year while the sugar from the last season is still stocked in godowns. This has brought dip in sugar prices from Rs 40-45 per kg to Rs 20-25 per kg.

Tags: sugar, harshwardhan patil