Prices of essential food items will remain stable during the festival season, Union Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra on Thursday said.
The decision on allowing sugar exports during the current 2023-24 marketing year (October-September) will be taken after the agriculture ministry comes out with the production estimates of sugarcane, he added.
The secretary was briefing the media on the domestic supply and prices of key essential food items like wheat, rice, sugar and edible oils.
"Prices are expected to remain stable during the festival season. We are not anticipating any manner of hike (in food item prices) in the festival season. Hopefully, prices should rule stable in the next couple of months," Chopra told reporters here.
The government has taken some decisions recently to ensure price stabilisation, the secretary said.
The government has recently used all tools at its command, whether trade policy or stock limit norms. These tools have been used judiciously to ensure prices remain stable to check prices, Chopra noted.
Sugar opening stock stood at 57 lakh tonnes on October 1, the start of the new marketing year, Chopra noted.
On Wednesday, the government again extended restrictions on sugar exports beyond October 31 this year and till further orders, a move aimed at increasing the availability of the commodity in the domestic market during the festive season.
Earlier, the restrictions were imposed until October 31 this year.
"Restriction on export of Sugar (Raw Sugar, White Sugar, Refined Sugar and Organic sugar) is extended beyond October 31, 2023 till further order. Other conditions will remain unchanged," the Directorate General of foreign trade (DGFT) said in a notification.