New Delhi: The government today decided to allow the export of about 2,50,000 tonnes of sugar over the next three months, enabling mills to meet a part of their total export obligation of nearly one million tonnes, reports PTI.
Mills had imported 20.75 lakh tonnes of sugar in the 2004-05 crop year (October-September) under the Advance Licence Scheme (ALS), which makes it mandatory for mills to export an equal quantity later. Mills are still left with an export obligation of nearly one million tonnes and the deadline is March, 2011.
"We have decided to allow mills to meet their export obligation in two tranches. Mills can export 25% of the quantity (9,67,000 tonnes) in the next three months and the rest of the quantity after November," a senior food ministry official told PTI.
Mills cannot export the sweetener without the release order from the ministry.
The government has decided to allow sugar exports as the country is likely to achieve a higher production than the annual demand in 2010-11 (October-September) after two year's of low output.
India's sugar production is estimated at 25.5 million tonnes in 2010-11, while demand is pegged at 23 million tonnes.
Furthermore, the retail prices have declined by 40% since mid-January. Retail sugar prices, which touched nearly Rs50 a kg in Delhi in mid-January, have come down to Rs30 per kg now.
In December last year, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had decided to extend the deadline to meet the export obligation till March, 2011, considering the low production of the sweetener during the current season, ending September.
It also gave an option to millers to pay customs duty as applicable during the relevant period and get exempted from the export obligation.
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