“We have written a letter to the finance ministry and waiting for the response. We are hopeful that the funds will be given in the supplementary grant,“ said a senior government official.
The Expenditure Manage ment Commission, set up by to suggest ways to rationalise government subsidies, did not consider sugar subsidy essential as per die tary need require ment, the official said. Over 2.7 million tonnes of sugar was annually being given to 40 crore beneficiaries below poverty line (BPL) at a subsidised rate of Rs.13.50 a kg. In 2017-18 budget, the government allocated Rs.200 crore to clear pending claims under the PDS sugar subsidy scheme, the official said. To make sugar available through PDS at Rs.13.50 per kg, state governments and union territories (UTs) are required to procure it from the open market. The Centre then reimburses states and UTs at Rs.18.50 per kg.
The ministry is also waiting for the second advance estimates of production of crops for 2016-17 to be released by the agriculture ministry this month to review the sugar production. It is also expecting state commissioners to submit a report on sugar estimates.