Sugar is a matter of concern: Pawar

PTI, PANAJI | 30 January 2010 21:11 IST

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar Saturday said India was well stocked with rice and wheat for the next two years, but agreed that the sugar scenario in the country continued to be a matter of concern.

Speaking at the Nationalist Congress party (NCP) state workers convention in Betalbalim, 45 km from here, Pawar said that India had produced a robust rabi crop, which had compensated for a depleted kharif season.

'I can assure you that we have enough rice and wheat to take care of India for two years stored in our godowns,' Pawar said.

The minister said only a year-and-half-year ago, country was suffering from plenty and that things had come to such a pass from such a stage.

'One of the biggest problems I was facing then was where to keep the procured wheat and rice which farmers in India had produced. There were not sufficient godowns,' Pawar said.

Pawar said that every person in the country was facing a problem because of the increased sugar prices.

'Sugarcane is a 16-month crop. So we are making efforts to import sugar in a big way. Concessions are being given to state governments and we are trying to improve the public distribution system (PDS) in a big way,' the agriculture minister said.

He, however, refused to respond to questions from media persons after his speech on the high prices of pulses and cereals.

The NCP convention was also attended by former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma, MP Surpiya Sule, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Praful Patel and other state leaders.


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