labels: sugar, economy - general
Government weighs more sops for sugar industry: Chidambaramnews
28 June 2007

Mumbai: The government may consider giving more sops to the sugar industry which is facing a crisis in the wake of a record output and fall in prices, finance minister P Chidambaram said in an interview to a television channel in London.

"We have increased buffer stocks from 20 lakh to 50 lakh tonnes. There is a committee which will report in a next couple of days about rescheduling of debt and we can look at some other options," he said.

India , the world''s largest consumer and second-largest producer of sugar is facing a glut with an increase in production and a fall in demand.
He said the government was in discussions with the sugar industry on further relief measures. "We are looking into it," he added.

The union cabinet had recently raised the buffer stock of sugar to 50 lakh tonne after a record production this year but had deferred a decision on extending the moratorium on debt taken by sugar mills for a period up to March 2010.

Had the government known that the sugar output in the current season would be 275 lakh tonne, it would have taken a decision to lift ban on exports much before, Chidambaram said.

"Earlier estimates put 190-210 lakh tonnes of sugar production. Therefore, the government correctly took a decision not to allow exports in December 2006.Now estimates put production at 275 lakh tonnes, if we knew of estimates, we could have lifted ban on exports even before December," he said.

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Government weighs more sops for sugar industry: Chidambaram