Sugar not sweet for buyers

CAPD-depots run out of commodity


Srinagar, July 4: Jammu and Kashmir government has been caught napping as it has allegedly failed to finalize formalities for procurement of sugar through Public Distribution System, which has created acute shortage of the commodity in CAPD-owned ration depots.
 Due to non-availability of sugar at government ration depots, consumers are forced to buy the commodity at from the open market at exorbitant rates.
 “It is very unfortunate that there is no sugar available in the ration depots. For last one month I have been doing rounds of ration depot but to no avail,” said Ajaz Ahmad, a Srinagar resident.
 Director, CAPD, Mir Mushtaq acknowledged that there is shortage of sugar at government depots. However, he said: “The state government has invited tenders for supplying sugar to Jammu and Kashmir, and the last date for submission of tenders has been fixed as July 21 which will be opened on July 25,” Mushtaq said.
 Pertinently, after the centre government decontrolled the sugar, state governments were asked to procure the commodity from the open market on their own for which J&K government has constituted a state-level purchase committee.
 However according to the sources the procurement will take some time and people may have to wait for at least two months as the state government is yet to deliberate on this issue.
 The Centre government's decision to allow states to procure sugar for public distribution “has actually left a few of them clueless.”
 While only five states have come out with tenders till now, the north eastern states and Jammu and Kashmir have sought an alternative option from the Centre, sources said.
 "The north eastern states and J&K face a major problem due to transportation hassles and the lack of proper infrastructure. They have been asking for an extension of time to develop infrastructure," said an official with the ministry of food and agriculture.
 Pertinently, from June 1 the Centre has stopped procuring sugar for public distribution from the mills. The states will now have to buy it from open market through tendering and sell at a subsidized price at ration shops.
 Earlier, the Centre government had on the recommendations of Rangarajan Committee gone for partial decontrolling of sugar. 
 The Central Government will provide a subsidy to the State governments for the difference between the PDS retail price of Rs 13.50 per kg and the sugar procured from the open market by the State governments, subject to a maximum purchase price of Rs 32 per kg for the next two years.

Lastupdate on : Thu, 4 Jul 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 4 Jul 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 5 Jul 2013 00:00:00 IST

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