New Delhi: In a retort to Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Food Minister KV Thomas on Monday said the country has allowed enough sugar export and the mills are yet to exhaust even their existing quota.

"We need not worry. We have allowed export of enough sugar so far this year. Not everything has physically been shipped out of the country ..." Thomas told reporters when asked whether there was a delay in notifying the eGoM decision to allow further export of one million tonnes.

Last week, Pawar had written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stating that the "negative approach" of the Food Ministry has resulted in delays in notifying exports.

He had brought to the notice of the Prime Minister that the EGoM's decision of March 26 to allow one million tones exports was not yet notified.

"...the negative approach of the Department (of Food) has resulted in the country losing over thousands crores in export earnings, which could have gone towards payment of cane arrears to farmers," Pawar had said.

Countering the Pawar's charges, Thomas said that this would not affect mills as they have not yet physically exported two million tonnes of sugar allowed by the empowered Group of Ministers (eGoM) due to scarce port capacity.

The Food Minister further pointed out that the ports have a monthly export capacity of only 2.5 lakh tonnes of sugar. When asked about new export mechanism, as directed by the eGoM,Thomas said he would take up the issue to the eGoM.

"My stand is that export modality should be prescribed by the eGoM. There is no clarity on this issue in the minutes of the meeting of the last eGoM. There cannot be a verbal guidance. It will be decided in the next meeting on April 25".

In view of higher domestic production, the government has permitted export of 3 million tonnes this season, of which only two million tonnes have been notified.