No plans to abolish sugar exports,duty on refined oil:Official

New Delhi, Jan 14 (PTI) The government today said thereis no proposal to abolish import duty on refined edible oilsand no plans to ban sugar exports through Advance LicenseScheme, under which mills have an obligation to export aboutone million tonnes of sugar by March.

"We have no such proposal," Food Secretary B C Gupta toldreporters here when asked if the government was planning towaive off import duty on refined edible oils from the existingcharge of 7.5 per cent.

There is speculation in the market that the governmentmay abolish import duty on refined edible oils. Already, thereis no import duty on crude edible oils.

Gupta also said the government will not restrict sugarexports under Advance License Scheme (ALS). Under this scheme,mills have imported sugar at zero duty and are required toexport similar quantity of sugar by March this year.

The Food Ministry recently referred the matter of allowingexports through Open general License (OGL) to the empoweredgroup of ministers (EGOM) on food.

Earlier, it had allowed five lakh tonnes of sugar exportsunder OGL, as sugar production is estimated to rise to 24.5million tonnes in 2010-11 as against the annual demand of23 million tonnes.

"We will not stop exports under ALS. However, export underOGL has been referred to empowered group of ministers," hesaid.

The secretary noted that the government has sufficientwheat and rice stocks, and may allocate more wheat to bulkconsumers such as flour millers, if they require.

"We have enough stock of wheat and rice. We are open toallocate more wheat to bulk consumers," Gupta said.

The government has already allocated 1.5 million tonnes ofwheat to bulk consumers for the January-June period this year.

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