Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has blamed state governments and sugar mills in the country for the current sugar crisis. He has said that the state government and sugar mills furnished wrong statistics about the sugar production, which led to the hike in the price of sugar. Addressing the annual general meeting of Maharashtra State Cooperative Sugar Factories Federation, an apex body of cooperative sugar mills in the state, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said that state governments and sugar mills first told the Centre in 2008-09 that sugar production in the country was 300 lakh tonnes which was later brought down to 200 lakh tonnes. Pawar added that total production of sugar in 2008-09 was only 160 lakh tonnes when domestic requirement was 250 lakh tonnes. Pawar said the government was left with no option but to import sugar in the given situation to meet the need in the local market. Pawar, however, said the government was taking some decision to give relief to the common man one of which was import of 40 lakh tonnes raw sugar. Pawar complained that several sugar factories were not providing ethanol to the government petroleum firms on time with the hope to get better price from private companies, which needed to be stopped.
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