The government today scrapped export duty on raw and refined sugar to boost shipments as the country is all set to produce a record 29.5 million tonnes of the sweetener in the current 2017-18 marketing season.
It has been decided to reduce export duty on raw sugar, white or refined sugar from 20 percent to nil, the Central Board of Excise and Customs said in a notification. Earlier, the government had doubled import duty on sugar to 100 percent to check shipments.
Sugar output of India, the world’s second largest producer, is estimated to rise sharply to 29.5 million tonnes in the 2017-18 marketing year (October-September) from 20.3 million tonnes in the previous year.
The domestic demand is 24-25 million tonnes annually.
With domestic prices falling below cost of production, sugar industry bodies Indian Sugar Mills Association, National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories, had been demanding scrapping of export duty to liquidate surplus domestic stock.
Cane arrear to sugarcane farmers touched Rs 14,000 crore at the end of January and might rise further in wake of slide in sugar prices, as per ISMA.
Mills have produced 25.80 million tonnes sugar till March 15 of the 2017-18 marketing year (October-September).