GST rollout, launch in India: The suggestion was made at a recent meeting of the Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP), a statutory body that recommends the MSP of agri-crops. Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), which represents private sugar mills, was also present at the meeting. With the GST coming into force from tomorrow, the cooperative sugar federation NFCSF today said the government should create a price stabilisation fund (PSF) to be used in times of price fluctuations. Currently, the government has a PSF for pulses, oilseeds, and other commodities, and not for sugar. It is being administered by the consumer affairs ministry.
“This (PSF) could help the sugar industry in times of market fluctuations, sugar export and timely paying cane prices,” National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories (NFCSF) President Walse Patil said in a statement. He suggested the CACP that PSF can be created by diverting sugar cess, once excise duty gets subsumed with GST. On sugar imports, Patil informed in the meeting that it is not required considering a stock of 53 lakh tons by the end of 2017-18 season ending October.
Moreover, sugar output is estimated to be higher at 25 million tons in the new 2017-18 season beginning September, he said, adding that the output in 2018-19 is expected to be bumper. The output in the current year is estimated to be lower at 21 million tons due to severe drought in Maharashtra and Karnataka, while it stood at 25 million tons the previous year, as per the official data. NFCSF demanded that the government’s sugar policy should be the consistent and long term, and the center should give justice to cooperative mills and farmers.