New Delhi: With sugar production expected to be higher than domestic demand, Food Minister KV Thomas on Monday said the government will continue the free sugar export policy in the current 2012—13 marketing year that started this month.

In May, sugar exports were kept under the Open General Licence (OGL) till September only.

“We have decided to extend the time for sugar export under open general licence for another year,” Thomas told reporters here after meeting with Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar where he discussed many issues on the sugar sector including the Rangarajan report on decontrolling the sugar sector.

Thomas said that both he and the Agriculture Minister agreed that the government would not adopt “switch-on and switch-off” trade policy on farm items.

On sugar production estimates, he said the Agriculture Minister is also of the view that the output in the 2012-13 marketing year (October—September) would be 23—23.5 million tonnes against about 26 million tonnes in the previous year.

The country’s annual domestic demand is 22 million tonnes. India, the world’s second largest producer and biggest consumer, exported about 3.5 million tonnes of sweetener in the last marketing year.

(Agencies)

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