The government 29 March 2018 allowed export of two million tonnes of sugar until the end of the 2017-18 marketing year, in order to clear surplus stocks and improve cash flow to millers for making payment to sugarcane farmers.
The government has also allowed export of white sugar till September 2018 under the Duty Free Import Authorisation (DFIA) scheme, under which exporters are allowed to import sugar at zero duty within three years. Sugar mills owe Rs 13,899 crore to sugarcane growers as on March 21, according to official data.
In its latest order, the Food Ministry has allowed two million tonnes of export under the Minimum Indicative Export Quota (MIEQ) scheme for the 2017-18 marketing year. The export quota has been fixed taking into account average production of mills achieved in the last two years and up to February of this marketing year. Mills can export the quota or get it exported by other mills on mutually agreeable conditions.
In a separate notification, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has allowed export of white sugar till September 2018 under the DFIA scheme. To stabilise domestic prices, the government has doubled import duty on sugar to 100 per cent, scrapped the export duty and also imposed stock limits on sugar mills for two months. Sugar output is estimated to rise to 27.2 million tonnes in 2017-18 marketing year, as against the demand of 25 million tonnes. India had produced 20.3 million tonnes in the 2016-17 marketing year.