The government is considering raising import duty on white sugar to 20 per cent to check it from flooding the domestic market, Food Minister K V Thomas said today.
The government is also looking at scrapping import duty on raw sugar, he said.
At present, import duty on white sugar as well as raw sugar is at 10 per cent each.
“There are different proposals before us. One is to increase import duty on white sugar to 20 per cent. The other one is to bring down import duty on raw sugar to zero. We are examining these proposals,” Mr Thomas told reporters here.
The decision on this issue would be taken soon. A Cabinet note will be moved in the next 10-15 days after consultation with the ministries concerned, he said.
Mr Thomas further said that scrapping of import duty on raw sugar is necessary as imported sweetener would be refined in the domestic market, generating employment here.
On sugar exports, Mr Thomas said the free sugar export policy in the current 2012—13 marketing year that started this month will continue.
In May, sugar exports were kept under the Open General Licence (OGL) only till September.
Sugar production in the country is estimated to be 26 million tonnes this year, higher than the annual demand of 22 million tonnes.