Though sugar mills across the spectrum both in the cooperative and private sector have questioned the manner in which the government is distributing export release orders post the ban, the government today said it has given ample time to millers and exporters to apply through the online portal and is processing the applications on a first-come-first-serve basis in a timely manner.
“In past few years also, whenever export quota was allocated among sugar mills it was allocated to sugar mills on a pro-rata basis and therefore, this time also in order to maintain transparency and to give opportunity to all exporters and sugar mills who have applied till June 3rd 2022; export release orders have been issued on pro-rata basis,” an official statement issued today said.
The sugar mills led by the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) meanwhile are planning to write a letter to the government alleging that it has deviated from its earlier practice of granting export release orders only to sugar mills by including trading and export houses also within the ambit of release orders.
This has complicated the system and opened the doors for arbitrariness and manipulation.
“These trading houses have cornered much of the export quotas granted after the ban and are now trying to manipulate the system and creating hurdles in smooth export of sugar,” ISMA President Aditya Jhunjhunwala told Business Standard.
ISMA, meanwhile, revised upward its 2021-22 (October to September) sugar production estimate to an all-time high of 36 million tonnes up from the earlier 35 million tonnes and also called upon the government to relax the export quota by another 1 million tonnes.
“The industry requests the Government that the additional 1 million tonnes of sugar export order should be given to sugar mills only, instead of giving it to the traders or exporters, so that sugar mills can fulfill their export commitments in the current season, and there is no repercussion of the same in the next season,” Aditya Jhunjhunwala said.
He said even after extra exports, the country will be left with sufficient sugar stocks at the start of the 2022-23 season in October.
Yesterday, former NCP chief and former union agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to relax the cap on overseas shipments by a million tonne as production is expected to be higher than earlier estimates
Also yesterday, the cooperative sugar mills complained against the alleged unfair treatment meted out to them while allocating export quotas post the ban imposed late last month.
The cooperatives which have a share of around 45 per cent in the total sugar production of the country said that though almost 41 per cent of the total sugar exported in the last three seasons (i.e. 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons) has come from the cooperative sector, they have been allocated just around 47 per cent of fresh export release orders post the ban, which is unfair.