New Delhi, Oct 5 (IANS) The Food Ministry on Wednesday said sufficient sugar stock was available in the country to meet domestic requirement and assured that all steps were being taken to ensure availability of sugar at a reasonable price during the festival season.
“The government has been constantly monitoring and taking action wherever necessary to remove any kind of regional imbalances causing an increase in sugar price. All-India average retail price of sugar is hovering in the range of Rs 40-42 per kg. From the last six months, the sugar price has been almost stable,” a statement from the Food Ministry said.
“As of now, no abnormal increase of price is observed. The sugar price behaviour is quite normal,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that the government was keeping a close watch on prices of sugar, pulses and edible oils to check hoarding.
“We are closely monitoring the price movement of sugar, edible oils and pulses to ensure there is enough supply in the festival season,” Paswan told reporters here.
Official sources said that while there has been a modest increase in the sugar rates the pulses prices were showing a declining trend with arrival of new kharif crop.
The prices of edible oils are stable in retail markets, they said.
Union Cabinet Secretary P. K. Sinha has held meetings with concerned ministries recently to review the prices and ensure availability of essential commodities including sugar and pulses, sources said.
As per the government data, the average retail price of sugar was ruling at Rs 40 per kg — slightly higher than last year.
In the case of pulses, there has been fall in retail prices in last few weeks on improved supply. Among edible oils, retail price of groundnut oil and mustard oil were ruling stable at Rs 135 per kg and Rs 100 per kg, respectively.
Regarding the availability of sugar at a reasonable price, the Food Ministry said that government has taken steps, like imposing customs duty on export of sugar, to ensure adequate sugar stocks, the source added.