NEW DELHI : The Government is likely to increase the import duty on white sugar to 20 per cent from the current 10 per cent in early November.It may also scrap the 10 per cent duty on raw sugar imports to encourage value-addition and meet the domestic demand.“We have received different proposals. One is to increase the duty on white sugar imports to 20 per cent and another to scrap the duty on raw sugar imports. We will discuss the issue with the Agriculture and Commerce Ministries and take a proposal to the Cabinet in about 15 days,” said Food Minister K.V. Thomas.
The Minister said the availability of sugar position in the country is comfortable. Production in the October-September 2012-13 season is expected to be around 23.5 million tonnes, down from 26 mt produced last year. Consumption stood at over 22 mt last year while exports were estimated at 3.5 mt.
Several sections of the industry, especially factories in the south and western parts of the country, are in favour of imports and have been demanding a cut in duty on raw sugar.However, the mills in Uttar Pradesh, which are expecting good sugarcane harvest are against any imports as any such move may exert pressure on prices.