India's sugar production is estimated at 24.5 million tonnes in 2011-12 sugar year (October-September) against 18.8 million tonnes in the previous year. The annual demand is pegged at 22 million tonnes
New Delhi: An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on food today decided to allow sugar exports of up to 5 lakh tonnes as production this year is set to exceed the domestic demand, reports PTI.
Earlier, the food ministry had allowed and notified 5 lakh tonnes of export under Open General Licence (OGL). The decision was, however, kept on hold in view of high inflation and the matter was soon referred to the EGoM.
The EGoM, headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, met today and decided to allow normal sugar exports not exceeding 5 lakh tonnes, sources added.
India's sugar production is estimated at 24.5 million tonnes in 2011-12 sugar year (October-September) against 18.8 million tonnes in the previous year. The annual demand is pegged at 22 million tonnes.
The government had earlier allowed mills to meet their export obligations of about one million tonnes under the Advance Licence Scheme (ALS).
Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar had earlier written to finance minister Pranab Mukherjee stating that sugar export should be allowed to prevent a situation of cane arrears to farmers.
Replying to the debate on Finance Bill, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee rolled back the 5% service tax on healthcare and also modified tax proposals relating to ready-made garments, dividend tax, personal computers, printers, mobile phones and auto parts
New Delhi: The Lok Sabha today passed the Finance Bill after finance minister Pranab Mukherjee rolled back his controversial 5% "misery tax" on healthcare and announced a few other tax concessions, reports PTI.
With the passage of the Finance Bill, the Lok Sabha completed the three-stage budgetary exercise amid walkout by the BJP-led opposition.
Replying to the debate on Finance Bill, Mr Mukherjee also modified tax proposals relating to ready-made garments, dividend tax, personal computers, printers, mobile phones and auto parts.
"The proposed levy on healthcare has raised considerable anxiety in this House and outside. The purpose of the levy was not merely to mobilise revenue. It was to pave the way for the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
"However, I have decided to exempt the new levy in its entirety both in respect of services provided by hospitals as well as by way of diagnostic tests until GST comes into force," Mr Mukherjee said.
The announcement of withdrawal of the 5% service tax on services provided by air-conditioned hospitals of more than 25 beds and on diagnostic services was greeted with loud thumping on desks by members as the minister hoped that it will no more be called "misery tax".
The Bill seeks to empower the government to make hallmarking-certification of a product or process-mandatory on the grounds of public interest
New Delhi: The government today cleared the Bureau of Indian Standards (Amendment) Bill, 2011 paving the way for introduction of mandatory hallmarking of more products including gold, reports PTI.
At present, about 77 items including cement, mineral water and milk products are certified with mandatory hallmarking under the BIS Act to conform to the quality level of goods and services to consumers.
According to sources, the Union cabinet cleared the Bill, which seeks to empower the government to make hallmarking-certification of a product or process-mandatory on the grounds of public interest.
Section 14 of the BIS Act provides the consumer affairs ministry the power to make those industrial products and processes for compulsory hallmarking that are listed under the Industries Development and Regulation Act (IDRA), 1951.
"Earlier, even if the Centre wanted to make mandatory hallmarking of gold, it could not do under the present law as the yellow metal does not fall under the IDRA list. Even the profession of goldsmiths who process gold into jewellery is not on that list," sources said.
The Cabinet cleared the Bill after considering the views of the law ministry which suggested delinking the Act from the provisions of the Industries Development and Regulation Act (IDRA), 1951, sources added.
Currently, the BIS hallmarking scheme for gold jewellery is voluntary in nature.