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Commerce Ministry not looking at hiking import duty on sugar

There was a suggestion to hike sugar import duty from 15 per cent to 40 per cent to curb cheap imports and increase ethanol blending in petrol to 10 per cent as an effort to improve the liquidity of mills.

twitter-logoPTI | June 11, 2014 | Updated 18:13 IST
Commerce Ministry not looking at hiking sugar import duty
(Photo: Reuters)

The Commerce Ministry is not looking at hiking import duty on sugar as it has not yet received any proposal in this regard.

Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher on Wednesday told reporters: "We are not looking at that. The Ministry of Food has not yet spoken to us officially on the subject."

He was replying to a question if the ministry was looking into raising import tax on sugar.

There was a suggestion to hike sugar import duty from 15 per cent to 40 per cent to curb cheap imports and increase ethanol blending in petrol to 10 per cent as an effort to improve the liquidity of mills.

Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had recently said that he would discuss the issue with the Finance Minister.

When asked if such a move will be WTO compliant, Kher said: "If it is a question of domestic availability of a product then WTO allows us to put temporary curb, so we will not be off the mark (if we hike the duty)".

In March, few WTO members, including Australia, have asked India to remove immediately the export subsidy of Rs 3,300 a tonne on raw sugar, saying it distorts the global trade.

This demand was raised in the recent meeting of the Agriculture Committee of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva.

 

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