New Delhi: The Centre has extended beyond 1 August the import facility for raw sugar at zero duty without any export obligation and that of white sugar through state-owned trading firms to augment domestic supply.
“The government has extended the import of duty-free raw sugar (under open general licence) as well as that of white sugar through three PSUs beyond their deadline of 1 August,” an official source said, declining, however, to comment on how long the relaxation will stay.
“The decision, approved by the cabinet in its meeting last week, is likely to be announced by food and agriculture minister Sharad Pawar in Parliament on Tuesday,” he added.
The move has come amid growing apprehension about the fate of sugar production next season, starting October, following a decline in the area under sugarcane to 42.50 lakh hectares as on 17 July from 43.79 lakh hectares in the same period last year.
Earlier in April, the government had scrapped a 60% import duty on raw sugar and allowed duty-free import till 1 August under the open general licence (OGL) scheme, under which mills do not have any export obligation.
It had also allowed MMTC, STC and PEC to import refined sugar up to 10 lakh tonnes at zero duty till 1 August.