Sugar prices jumped by at least Rs. 10 per kilogram in the open market on Monday after the government decided to increase import duty on the sweetener and continue with the export subsidy to give relief to the industry that owes Rs. 15,000 crore to sugarcane growers.

Market sentiment was affected as the government announced a slew of measures for millers, including an additional interest-free loan of up to Rs. 4,400 crore, to improve funds liquidity to clear cane arrears.

At a high-level meeting convened by Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and attended among others by Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Maneka Gandhi and Kalraj Mishra, it was decided to raise sugar import duty to 40 per cent from the existing 15 per cent and provide export subsidy of Rs. 3,300 per tonne till September this year.

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