The government today allowed import of 3 lakh tonnes of raw sugar at concessional duty of 25 per cent to augment domestic supplies ahead of the festive season.
The government today allowed import of 3 lakh tonnes of raw sugar at concessional duty of 25 per cent to augment domestic supplies ahead of the festive season. It had hiked import duty on sugar in July to 50 per cent from 40 per cent to curb dumping of the commodity in India as international prices fell. But to boost domestic availability and check prices, it has allowed import of 3 lakh tonnes of raw sugar at 25 per cent duty for conversion to white sugar, a senior official said. Sugar production in India, the world’s second largest producer, is estimated to decline to around 21 million tonnes in 2016-17 season ending September from 25 MT in the previous year. The annual demand is 24-25 MT.
The government had in April allowed duty free import of 5 lakh tonnes of raw sugar to boost domestic supply. Last month, the government had imposed stock limit on sugar mills for the next two months to keep prices in check during the festive season. By the end of September, a mill cannot keep more than 21 per cent of its total sugar availability for the entire 2016- 17 marketing year and a factory cannot hold more than 8 per cent at the end of October, according to the government notification issued last month. Sugar is selling at an average price of Rs 42 per kg in the retail market, while branded sweetener is available at Rs 50 per kg. White sugar prices in the international market have fallen by 8 per cent since July but raw sugar prices have remained flat. The domestic wholesale price of sugar are also flat.