Govt hikes import duty on sugar to 50%
The Dollar Business Bureau
The government on Monday hiked the duty on raw sugar imports to 50%, in order to control the cheap imports of the commodity and to maintain the prices in the domestic market.
“Import duty on raw sugar, refined or white sugar and raw sugar if imported by a bulk consumer has been increased to 50% from the current 40% rate with immediate effect and without an end date,” Department of Revenue said in a notification (No.66/2017-Customs) dated July 10, 2017.
The Government’s move will improve the paying capability of sugar mills owners to farmers for their cane supplies, as per the sugar industry.
Welcoming the government’s move, Abinash Verma, Director General, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said in a statement, “This will help the sugar industry pay the cane price (fair and remunerative price), which has been raised by 11% for the marketing year starting October 2017 and for which the mills have to continue to get ex-factory sugar prices of at least Rs.36-37 per kg.”
Sugar output in India, the second largest producer in the world after Brazil, is expected to decline to around 21 million tonnes in the current marketing year 2016-17 (October-September), from 25 MT in the corresponding year. The yearly domestic demand for sugar in the country is 24-25 MT.
In the wake of lower sugar output, the government, in April, had allowed import of 5 lakh tonnes of raw sugar at zero duty to boost the supply of commodity in domestic market.
Earlier this year, due to shortfall in sugar production, traders and refiners had urged the government to scrap or trim the 40% import duty. However, the sugar mill industry has been that there is no need for scrapping the import duty as there is a plentiful stocks to be carried forward from the year 2015-16 to offset the shortfall.