Sops on sugar exports may not be extended

New Delhi, Dec 28 | Updated: Dec 29 2007, 04:36am hrs
The government is unlikely to extend the sops given to sugar mills for exporting the sweetener beyond April 2009, a senior official said on Friday.

There is no plan to extend the sops after April 2009, the government official said.

The government had early this year announced giving a freight subsidy of Rs 1,350 per tonne to mills located in coastal areas and Rs 1,450 per tonne to mills in other regions.

The move was intended to boost exports in the wake of bumper sugar output and the consequent fall in prices in domestic market.

The cabinet committee on economic affairs on October 9, extended the time limit for these incentives by another year till April 2009 to target an additional export of three million tons of sugar.

The export assistance would be provided from the Sugar Development Fund.

Meanwhile, the government has not yet decided on expanding the volume of sugar buffer stocks. It is too early to say there was need for increasing the buffer stock, the official said.

The government had created a buffer stock of 50 lakh tons to be kept with sugar mills to support them in clearing sugarcane arrears.

While the time period for maintaining 20 lakh tonne of buffer stocks is April 2008, for the remaining 30 lakh tons it was July next year.

Indian Sugar Mills Association has demanded extending this time by one year as it expects the sugar production to be 30-31 million tonne in 2007-08 season ending September next year.