Centre hikes sugar import duty to 50%

Oceane Deschanel
Julho 12, 2017

However, worldwide prices have since risen to close to 14 cents per pound now.

Government has increased import duty on sugar to 50 per cent from 40 per cent, to restrict cheap inward shipments and maintain domestic prices.

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Welcoming the move, National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories Ltd (NFCSFL) Managing Director Prakash P Naiknavare said: "This will help stabilise domestic prices and help mills make cane payments to farmers on time". The government, however, raised the duty lower than the 60% that some of the mills had demanded to balance the interest of producers with consumers'. A crash in global sugar prices to just 12.55 cents per pound around a fortnight ago had alarmed domestic millers, who had apprehended large-scale imports flooding the domestic market if the duty was not raised. To boost domestic supply, the government had in April this year allowed import of 5 lakh tonnes of raw sugar at zero duty to boost domestic supply. Therefore stable prices are a perquisite for a healthy sugar industry."He further added, "The decision has postponed the immediate threat of import".

A food ministry official had earlier said that some traders were keen to import sugar in view of fall in global prices of sugar. However, even a 10% hike can deter sugar import. Thereafter, a 10% duty was imposed in July 2012, which was increased to 15% in July 2013 and subsequently to 25% in August 2014.

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