President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the Sugar Cess (Amendment) Bill, 2015, raising the ceiling of the impost from Rs 25 to Rs 200 per quintal, a measure that will help sugarcane growers and cash-starved mills.
Presidential assent to the bill, which will help the government meet its expenditure on interventions to ensure payment of dues to the sugarcane farmers, was granted on January 8, official sources said on Tuesday.
The bill was passed by Lok Sabha on December 15 but opposition members had joined ranks in the Rajya Sabha to oppose its consideration on December 23, the last day of the winter session.
The bill, which was declared a money bill, became a law after the President's nod as it was not returned by the Upper House to the Lok Sabha within 14 days of its consideration there, as required under the rules.
While introducing the bill, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had said the hike in sugar cess would lead to increase in the accruals to the Sugar Development Fund, which facilitates rehabilitation and modernisation of sugar mills, thereby helping cane growers.
The Sugar Cess (Amendment) Act, 2015, which has amended the Sugar Cess Act, 1982, provides for the imposition of a cess as an excise duty on the production of sugar.
The rate of sugar cess is notified by the central government from time to time.