Govt. may raise import duty on white sugar soon
The government is mulling over proposals to hike import duty on white sugar or scrap it on raw sugar, Food Minister K V Thomas revealed.
Mr. Thomas said a hike in import duty on white sugar would check it from flooding Indian market; while scrapping import duty on raw sugar would make it cheaper and lure buyers away from white sugar.
Currently, import duty on both white and raw sugar is at 10 per cent. But under the proposals, the government is considering hiking import duty on white sugar to 20 per cent, and scrapping it on raw sugar to zero.
Speaking to reporters, the food minister said, "There are different proposals before us. One is to increase import duty on white sugar to 20 per cent. The other one is to bring down import duty on raw sugars to zero."
The food minister explained that scrapping of import duty on raw sugar was necessary because refining imported raw sugar in India would generate employment in the country.
He added that the decision on the issue could be expected soon. After consultation with the ministries concerned, a cabinet note should be circulated in the next ten to fifteen days.
Mr. Thomas added that the ongoing free sugar export policy would continue in the current 2012-13 marketing year.