New Delhi: The food ministry has requested the customs and excise departments not to allow sugar exports without its prior permission, reports PTI.
The Centre had allowed import of raw sugar at zero duty between 17 February, 2009 and September 2009 through Advance Authorisation Scheme (AAS), under which mills are obligated to export the sweetener after processing.
Due to shortage of sugar in the country, it had relaxed the condition under AAS by allowing import on 'tonne-to-tonne' basis instead of 'grain-to-grain' basis.
In 'tonne to tonne', mills were allowed to process imported raw sugar, undertake sale in local market and fulfil obligation of exporting an equal quantity later.
"The directorate of sugar has expressed concerns that some unscrupulous persons ...in order to take advantage of high international prices might export sugar without obtaining release orders from the directorate on the pretext that such exports are being carried out against the raw sugar imported by them on 'grain-to-grain' basis," the finance ministry said in a circular.
The directorate has requested that no export of sugar should be permitted against raw sugar imported under the AAS during this period without release order from it. Export release order is required for exporters exporting sugar under AAS on tonne-to-tonne basis.
The directorate has asked the custom department to intimate it if any sugar mills has exported sugar against such advance authorisation "for taking appropriate action in the matter".
India had imported about 6 million tonnes of sugar since February 2009 to meet domestic demand. Most of the imports were done through OGL (Open General License).