On Thursday, India will export sugar in 2010 /11 and ship out more wheat in diplomatic deals, the farm minister said, signaling improving food supplies squeezed by last year’s drought. It may be noted that earlier it had allowed small exports to Nepal, On Wednesday; India allowed exports of 400,000 tones of wheat to neighboring. Sharad Pawar told reporters at the Indian Women’s Press Corps “Definitely, India will export (sugar) next year, definitely the worst is over. The government was collecting information about sugar production and observing the progress of cane planting. These are under diplomatic channels. This was advised by the foreign ministry, yes, we will give more. The government would not allow unrestricted wheat exports until the end of the monsoon season”.
The government had abolished 60 percent import duty on the sweetener in 2009, to boost domestic supplies. And duty free imports of wheat had been allowed since 2007, as the minister was replying to a query whether the government would consider removing the ban on sugar futures in view of the sharp fall in sugar prices. Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh got support from unexpected quarters on Thursday said “A colleague made a comment in China about a Ministry. I think we are giving disproportionate importance for that, but there is full understanding between each and every member of the Union Cabinet and the leadership in the United Progressive Alliance-II. I do not see any problem or policy difference. Some things were said about China…We are giving disproportionate importance for that. [But] nobody feels it is a government of different members. It is a cohesive Cabinet”.
Sugar futures were banned in May 2009 and the suspension is valid till September, the minister was replying to query whether the government would removing the ban on sugar futures in view of the sharp fall in sugar prices. Pawar also said “The government was collecting information about sugar production and observing the progress of cane planting. Sugar output in India, the world’s top consumer, was likely to rise to 24-25 million tones in 2010/11, from an estimated 18.5 million tones in the current year.