No plan to give production-linked subsidy to sugar sector now: Govt
New Delhi: The food ministry has no immediate plans to give subsidy to sugarcane growers for bailing out cash-starved sugar mills, and it asked factories to export 2 million tonnes sweetener, even at loss, to liquidate surplus stock and improve domestic prices.
With domestic production estimated to rise to a record 29.5 million tonnes in the 2017-18 marketing year ending September, the government has already doubled import duty to 100 per cent and scrapped 20 per cent export duty on sugar.
That apart, the ministry has recently allowed 2 million tonnes of sugar under the Minimum Indicative Export Quota (MIEQ) scheme and has fixed a compulsory quota for each mills depending their production.
"Right now, there is no immediate plans to give production-linked subsidy that we had given few years back. We have announced two schemes to help mills export surplus sugar and that should help improve the situation," a senior food ministry official said.
India's sugar production is estimated to rise sharply from 20.3 million tonnes in 2016-17 marketing year to 29.5 million tonnes in the current year, resulting in fall in ex-mill and retail prices in the domestic market. Even global market is depressed currently.
At present global rate, the official said mills will incur a loss of Rs 5-7 per kg, which can be offset by selling the remaining stock in the domestic market at improved rate.