Mumbai: The government has decided to raise the import duty on the sweetener to 15 per cent from 10 per cent currently, to discourage overseas buying amid a drop in local prices due to ample supplies, sources said on Friday.
"In Thursday's meeting, Food, Finance and Agriculture Ministries have agreed to increase duty to 15 per cent," said a senior government official, who declined to be named.
"Informally, it has been agreed upon to increase the import duty on sugar, but a formal order in this regard has to come from the Finance Ministry," said another official at the Food Ministry.
The amount sugar mills owe to farmers has risen to Rs 90 billion, as mills are struggling due to a drop in local sugar prices.
Mills have been importing sugar despite a surplus local production, as the sweetener is cheaper in the world market due to a bumper sugar output in Brazil.