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NEW DELHI: Senior Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat on Thursday alleged that a sugar scam was brewing in the country, with sugar mill owners not releasing in the market supplies imported earlier this year.
“Despite importing zero-duty raw sugar in January this year, processed sugar is yet to come to the market. It seems that some mill owners have made a killing in the last six months and [are] creating artificial scarcity,” Ms. Karat said in the Rajya Sabha.
Accusing the Centre of not taking action against the guilty mill owners, she said that the latter were busy filling their coffers while prices were rising. Had the sugar been supplied to the market, prices would have declined, but the government has remained a mute spectator, Ms. Karat charged.
Demanding a probe, she faulted the government for failing to maintain uniformity in the production of sugar and not bringing out any policy for the sector.
Union Agriculture, Food, and Consumer Affairs Minister Sharad Pawar, however, denied the allegations and said low sugar production was behind the high prices.
Mr. Pawar said 29 lakh tonnes of raw sugar import has been ordered, of which 18 lakh tonnes has already arrived and would be available in the market soon. Over 1 lakh tonnes of refined sugar is also being imported to ease the situation, he added.
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