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Decision on extending sugar export subsidy soon, says govt

In a major aimed to give a fillip to sugar industry, the Centre is mulling to take a final decision on extending subsidy for exports of raw sugar in the current 2014-15 marketing year. While addressing the 80th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of sugar industry body ISMA, Food Secretary Sudhir Kumar said, “The issue is under examination. There are different points of view. There are WTO implications...Whatever decision has to be taken will be taken soon. We are moving in that direction”.

In February this year, the Centre had announced subsidy for exports of raw sugar up to 40 lakh tonnes during 2013-14 and also 2014-15 marketing years (October-September) to help the cash-starved industry to clear cane arrears to farmers. However, the scheme has not been extended after September this year.

The secretary noted that there has been delay in taking a decision on whether to extend the subsidy on raw sugar exports for 2014-15 as it “took some time” to make assessment of sugar production, consumption and domestic stocks situation.

“Now, the picture is clear. Our assessment is that the opening stock (as on October 1) was 72 lakh tonnes and going by production and consumption estimates, this year’s closing stock could be around 74 lakh tonnes. Now the facts and positions are clear, it should not take much time to decide,” the Food Secretary asserted.

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