Mumbai: The Maharashtra Congress today hit out at the Union government for allowing the import of sugar from neighbouring Pakistan, alleging that such imports had led to its prices crashing in the domestic market. It questioned the Centre over the need for such imports when sugar production in the country was in “excess”.
Speaking to reporters, former state Cooperation Minister and senior Congress leader Harshvardhan Patil said, “A Delhi-based company called Sakuma Exports Limited has exported chocolates to Pakistan and imported some 20 lakh tonnes of sugar from Pakistan. Why is this being done at the cost of our farmers?”
Patil claimed that the import policy of the Centre would affect domestic sugarcane producers to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore. “The losses for sugarcane cultivators in Maharashtra itself would be around Rs 3,000 crore. With low prices domestically, how will sugar mills pay farmers from whom they have procured sugarcane,” Patil asked.
State Congress chief Ashok Chavan asked the Union government for an explanation and alleged that these imports had resulted in sugar prices per tonne falling from Rs 36,000 to Rs 24,000. He ridiculed Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that while the latter claimed that he would get fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim from Pakistan, all his government was managing to do was bring in sugar from the neighbouring country.