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Govt scraps export duty on sugar to trim surplus, lift prices

Govt scraps export duty on sugar to trim surplus, lift prices

The government on Tuesday scrapped the 20% export duty on sugar in a bid to boost overseas sales of the commodity and lift its domestic price. The country is facing surplus production of the sweetener. 

A notification issued by the finance ministry said the estimated revenue implication of the move is Rs 75 crore for a year at current export volumes. 

Industry bodies Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) and National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories had been seeking scrapping of export duty to help liquidate surplus stock of sugar and check the fall in its price. 

ISMA has revised India’s 2017-18 sugar production estimate to 29.5 million tonnes from its second advance estimate of 26.1 million tonnes. 

In order to reduce the closing stock of 2017-18, the industry aims to export 1.5-2 million tonnes of sugar till October 2018, when the new sugar year begins, industry executives said. 

Last month, the government doubled import duty on sugar to 100% and restricted sale by mills to keep a checking on falling prices. 

Trade sources said the move is unlikely to make a major impact as global prices are also depressed. The industry is demanding subsidy on export of sugar.

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