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CII Calls for Import Duty Hike on Sugar 04 Feb 2013  
CII Calls for Import Duty Hike on Sugar

CII Calls for Import Duty Hike on Sugar


NEW DELHI, Feb. 3 This year, despite surplus production of sugar over domestic demand, the industry would be incurring losses due to cheaper imports competing with the domestically produced sweetener. The current import duty of just 10 per cent and low prices in the international market are leading to the inflow of a large quantity of raw and processed sugar into the country, says the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Raising the issue, Mr. Ajit Shriram, Co-Chairman, CII Task Force on Sugar, and Deputy Managing Director of DCM Shriram Consolidated Ltd, said, “Indian sugar industry, one of the main drivers of the country’s rural economy, is already suffering owing to excessive controls of the Central and state governments, coupled with recent hikes in cane price across the country. Inexpensive import due to low import duty is adding to the heavy losses to the industry, which may result in huge cane price arrears. The government should in crease the import duty immediately form the existing 10 per cent to 30 per cent or more to create a level playing field for the domestic industry.”      

Mr. P. Ramababu, also a Co-Chairman of the Task Force and Chairman, Lakshya Strategic, commented: “This year at least 24 million tonnes of sugar production is expected against the domestic demand of 22.5 million tonnes. Presently, due to imports of processed sugar from Pakistan and raw sugar mainly from Brazil, the industry in India is passing through a hard time to maintain its viability. The government should take immediate measures to curb imports and save the domestic industry form losing its interest in the sector.”

Once at 60 per cent, the import duty was reduced in 2009 to facilitate more imports and meet domestic demand at a time of sugar shortage. That is not the case this year, CII emphasises. When domestic production is more then sufficient to meet demand, the government should consider adapting the import policy to the current market reality, it argues. “Otherwise, with an unviable global market for exports from Indian, all the sugar imported will only get stuck in the country and add to the surplus.”


(Source: Exim India Dt. 04.02.2013)
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