The Central Government with a view to manage the situation of surplus production in the country and to stabilize the sugar prices with a view to clear cane price arrears of farmers has been implementing the Sugar Price (Control) Order, 2018 along with imposition of stock holding limits on sugar mills.
In exercise of powers conferred by section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 (10 of 1955) read with clause 4 and 5 of the Sugar (Control) Order, 1966 and Order of the Government of India vide S.O. No.2347 (E) dated 07.06.2018, the Central Government has been issuing stock holding order for every month since June, 2018, inter-alia, indicating therein the mill-wise quantity of white/ refined sugar prescribed for domestic sale/despatch for that particular month.
In the monthly stock holding limit order for the month of March, 2019 issued on 28.02.2019, 24.5 LMT of white/refined sugar has been prescribed for domestic sale/dispatch. This increase is attributable to various factors. There is a pattern of high sales/dispatches around this time of the year; during February, 2018 sales/dispatch of sugar were at 23.54 LMT. Besides, sugar industry has recently been advised to go for advance booking of sugar sales to bulk consumers. It is also to be noted that the Government has only recently increased the minimum selling price of sugar (MSP) from Rs. 29 to Rs. 31 /kg. The said increase is to provide an opportunity to mills to realise maximum revenue from sales at enhanced MSP to improve their liquidity to clear cane price arrears of farmers.
With the Sugar Price (Control) Order, 2018 being in vogue, sugar mills cannot sell their sugar at ex-mill price which is below MSP and any violation of the same would attract severe penal action under the provisions of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. Hence, any apprehension about excess allocation of sugar for domestic sale under the stock holding limit order for the month of March, 2019 is unwarranted