New Delhi: The Indian government has extended a deadline for exports of white sugar by a year against imports of raws by mills, senior industry officials said on Thursday.
The government had allowed mills to import raw sugar free of duty between January and September 2005 to tide over a shortage of the sweetener at that time, on the condition that an equivalent quantity of white sugar was exported in 24 months.
“The government has recently allowed companies to meet their white sugar export obligation within 36 months instead of an early practice of 24 months,” a top sugar industry official said.
He said the government extended the deadline because export realisations were falling due to low international prices, triggered by a global oversupply.
Sugar mills had requested the food ministry to give them more time to meet the obligation as low global prices have made overseas sales unviable.
Sugar firms had a total obligation to export around a million tonnes of white sugar in lieu of imports of duty-free raw sugar.
The government in April said exporting mills would get a subsidy of around $30 a tonne. But mills exporting white sugar in lieu of duty-free imports of raw sugar were not entitled to the freight incentive.