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Pranab asks global sugar industry to curb price volatility


New Delhi:

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee called upon the global sugar industry to initiate steps for curbing price volatility of the sweetener.


"Much more needs to be done to improve the world sugar economy as we are still at a time when the world sugar market continues to experience considerable price volatility," he said, while addressing the 41st session of International Sugar Council (ISC).


Mukherjee asked the ISC to take further steps for development and stabalisation of the global sugar sector. ISC is a global body responsible for development of sugar industry in the entire world. It is the governing body of International Sugar Organisation (ISO), in which India is a member since 1993.


Noting that better information is a powerful tool for price stability, Mukherjee said, "I would like the ISC to examine and analyse the information system on demand and supply, international policies and the trade competitiveness for realistic estimation of sugar production."


He also emphasised the importance of global cooperation in research and development of sugar technologies to unlock the full potential in developing countries.


Highlighting the growth of Indian sugar industry, Mukherjee said, the government has been seeking to stabilize the domestic sugar prices by moderating the volatility during scarce and surplus domestic sugar seasons.


He, however, said that more attention is required to improve quality of sugar, recovery level, reduction in water intensity of crops, energy and environment consideration in the production of sugar.


The minister further stressed the need to develop by-products like bio fuels for improving the financial health of the sugar sector in the country.


He also said that the domestic sugar industry should tap the benefits from flexible market-based mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol.


Expressing concern about cyclic nature of domestic sugar production, Food Minister K V Thomas said, "It has been our concerted endeavour to break this cyclicality with multi- pronged policy interventions."


On by-products of sugar industry like ethanol, he said that exchange of information on technological innovations of participating countries will help India grasp the full potential of sugarcane crops.


India, the world's second biggest sugar producer but the largest consumer, is estimated to produce 25.2 million tonne of sugar in 2011-12 marketing year (October-September), as against the annual consumption of 22 million tonne.


In view of higher domestic production, the government has permitted export of 3 million tonne. 

Story first published on: April 24, 2012 15:58 (IST)




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