09 June 2022, New Delhi: The food ministry is likely to accommodate some more applications for exports of sugar in the coming weeks, a top official said on Wednesday.
The department is looking at reassessing the sugar balance sheet to see if the one million tonne (mt) quota for sugar exports can accommodate more applications, Subodh Kumar Singh, joint secretary, Department of Food and Public Distribution, told ET.
The government now plans to exclude sugar exported after being imported from the export quota. Also, the department is expecting a slight increase in production numbers as crushing is still going on in some states. “We will take action at an appropriate time,” Singh said, indicating that a decision could be taken by the end of this month or early next month.
The government had announced a 1 mt export quota for exporters and 0. 8 mt for sugar mills, following up on its earlier decision to restrict sugar exports at 10 mt in the ongoing season ending in September as part of its measures to check inflation.
While the Centre has issued export release orders, allotting export quota to various exporters and sugar mills on a pro-rata basis, sugar exporters have alleged lack of fairness and haphazard implementation of the government decision to restrict overseas sales in the current season, which runs from October 2021 to September 2022.
Rebutting the allegation, Singh said the process was carried out in all “fairness”and “transparency”. The quota was allocated on a pro rata, first-come-first-served basis, following the precedence set in previous years whenever the quota system was implemented, he said.
This was done to maintain transparency and to give opportunity to all exporters and sugar mills who have applied till June 3, 2022, Singh added. “The Centre gave ample time to exporters and millers to apply for export release orders,” he said.
The government had received 326 applications for exports of 2. 31 mt sugar till June 3 while the cut-off quantity was 1 mt.
Some sugar traders import raw sugar to refine here and then export.