The government on Thursday allowed export of additional 5 lakh tonnes of sugar under the Open General Licenses (OGL).

“EGoM has approved additional export of five lakh tonnes of sugar,” Food Minister K.V. Thomas told PTI after the meeting of Empowered Group of Ministers.

In April, the government had allowed 5,00,000 tonnes of sugar exports under OGL, which enables shipment without any restrictions.

However, the decision on removing stock holding limit on sugar has been deferred.

The EGoM, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, also decided additional allocation of 5 million tonnes of foodgrains to APL families, Mr. Thomas said.

Mr. Pawar, who is one of the key members of the EGoM, was not present at the meeting, as he is in Paris for the G-20 meeting.

The industry had sought permission last week to export an additional 1.5 million tonnes in view of higher domestic output this year.

Even Mr. Pawar had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to allow further export of sugar as India only had a month to cash in on high global prices of the sweetener.

There is a case for more export of sugar, as domestic production is high and global prices are ruling firm at a premium of Rs 500-600 per quintal vis-à-vis domestic sugar prices, he had said.

Sugar production in India, the world’s second largest producer and biggest consumer, is estimated at 24.2 million tonnes in the 2010-11 season (October-September), as against 18.8 million tonnes in the previous season.