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Sugar prices hit the roof

Sugar prices hit the roof
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The smalltime traders are yet to recover from the rumours which hit their business hard five days ago. Huge quantities of sugar are being sold in...

Nizamabad: Sugar has become bitter and sour in Nizamabad district, which was once, the sugar bowl of India. With rumour mills working overtime, an artificial scarcity has been created and sugar has been diverted to the black market.

The smalltime traders are yet to recover from the rumours which hit their business hard five days ago. Huge quantities of sugar are being sold in black and it is not available. All of a sudden, salt and sugar have become precious.

Everywhere, the price of sugar has been enhanced by 15 to 20 per cent on the marked price and there is scarcity of sugar in the fair price shops.

Surprisingly, the district official machinery, especially the revenue, police, and the civil services departments are remaining indifferent to the smuggling of sugar. It is the common man who is feeling the pinch again.

According to reports, sugar was being sold for more than Rs 44 in black although the State government has fixed Rs 13.50 a kg in fair price shops. Last week, sugar was sold at Rs 38 per keg and in some interior villages, the price shot up to Rs 41.

However, with the spread of rumours, stocks of sugar started diverting to black market and eventhe wholesale dealers started selling them for more than Rs 41.

The consumers have no other choice but to cough up the extra mount. Moreover, the officials concerned have turned a blind eye to such illegal trade activities.

Although the in-charge District Collector A Ravinder sent the enforcement officials to various shops for inspections, no cases were booked till now. The situation in some rural areas is even worse with sugar being sold at Rs 48and mandal officers remaining
indifferent.

The reasons for the scarcity of sugar are not far to seek. With the closing down of Asia’s biggest sugar factory, the Nizam Sugars Ltd, and the farmers taking up other crops for cultivation in place of sugarcane have reduced the areas under cultivation.

As a result, less quantities of sugar were being produced. Earlier, sugar cane crop which used to be sowed on 30,000 acres of crops is now being grown only on 10,000 acres.

In Nizamabad, the area under sugarcane cultivation fell to below 1,000 hectares. The officials fear that the price of sugar may further escalate if drastic steps are not taken immediately. They should start booking cases against the black marketers immediately.

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