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Pawar’s ministry defends exporting sugar to EU

New Delhi, Feb 23 (Calcutta Tube) The food and agriculture ministry Tuesday defended its decision to export 10,000 tonnes of sugar to the European Union saying that an equivalent amount of sugar will be imported in this season — ensuring there was no reduction in the availability of the essential commodity in the domestic market.

‘There will be no net export of sugar from the country,’ said the ministry in a statement here.

 

The ministry was reacting to reports in a section of the media that the central government allowed export of 10,000 tonnes of sugar to the European Union (EU) even though there was shortage of supply domestically.

 

The ministry statement pointed out that EU is a vast market with high degree of potential for export of Indian agricultural products and India may lose its share in the market there if it did not supply the required sugar this season.

 

The ministry said: ‘The food and public distribution department agreed with the recommendation of the department of commerce and allowed export of 10,000 tonnes of sugar to EU countries through Indian Sugar Exim Corporation subject to the condition that the said corporation import equivalent quantity of sugar in this season (October 2009 to September 2010).’

 

‘The department of food and public distribution will issue export release order to M/s Indian Sugar Exim Corporation only after receipt of requisite documents from the corporation relating to import of 10,000 tonnes of sugar as per said condition,’ the statement said.

 

Media reports Feb 19 said the issue of exporting 10,000 tonnes of sugar to EU despite its price doubling in the domestic market in a year has put NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s food and agriculture ministry and Congress leader Anand Sharma’s commerce ministry at loggerheads, with both shifting responsibility for the decision.

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