Govt unlikely to cut import duty on sugar

The present import duty on the sweetener is 40%.

The Dollar Business Bureau

The government is not likely to cut the import duty on sugar citing sufficient availability of the sweetener in the backdrop of fall in consumption this year and an expected bumper crop next year.

The government is also making sure that there is no rise in the retail price of the commodity by keeping an eye on the sugar futures trading.

The present retail price of sugar stands at 40/kg and it has an import duty of 40 per cent with no overseas purchase happening as of now.

As per a senior Food Ministry official, there will be adequate stocks of sugar in the domestic market signifying an unlikely scenario for import. “There is no question of reducing the import duty at this point in time," the official added.

Sugar has seen a reduction in consumption to the tune of 4-5 lakh tonnes in the last two months. Therefore, it may so happen that this year's total consumption would decrease to 25 million tonnes from the earlier projection of 25.5 million tonnes for 2016-17 marketing year (October-September).

The year will have a sugar supply of 30.2 million tonnes, including 7.7 million tonnes of carryover stock and 22.5 million tonnes of domestic output. As much as 8 million tonnes of sugar has already been produced in the last three months of the marketing year.

Due to the fall in consumption, the country is going to have a surplus stock of 4-5 lakh tonnes at the end of this year, which will able to suffice the demand in the beginning of the next marketing year from October 2018.

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The Dollar Business Bureau - Jan 09, 2017 12:00 IST