No plans for duty-free sugar imports: Paswan

Last month, import duty on sugar was hiked to 50 per cent to restrict cheap imports.

PTI
Srinagar, Publish Date: Aug 13 2017 1:01AM | Updated Date: Aug 13 2017 1:01AM
No plans for duty-free sugar imports: PaswanFile Photo

The country has sufficient stock of sugar available and there are no plans to allow further imports of the sweetener at zero duty, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said today.

In order to ensure smooth sugar supply and stable prices in the new season starting October 2017, the government has asked mills to commence crushing operations early.

Prices are stable now and are expected to remain so in the coming festival season, he added.

Last month, import duty on sugar was hiked to 50 per cent to restrict cheap imports.

"The domestic availability of sugar is sufficient to meet the demand. We have already allowed duty-free import of 5 lakh tonnes. No plans to further allow duty-free imports," Paswan told reporters.

The country has sugar supply of about 27.9 million tonnes (MT) in the current 2016-17 season (October-September). This includes an old stock of 7 MT and current year's production of 20.4 MT and import of 5 lakh tonnes.

"This would be sufficient to meet the domestic demand till fresh sugar from the new crop is manufactured from October onwards," he said.