NEW DELHI: The Government is considering raising import duty on sugar to 60 per cent from the current 40 per cent to restrict cheap shipments and maintain domestic prices.
Any fall in local prices will affect millers capacity to pay cane dues to growers.
In view of lower sugar output estimated during the current 2016-17 marketing year, the Government had in April allowed import of 5 lakh tonnes of raw sugar at zero duty to boost domestic supply.
"We are monitoring global price movement closely. Prices in the international market are falling and some traders are keen to import even at high customs duty. So, we are considering raising import duty," a senior Food Ministry official said recently.
Already, 5 lakh tonnes of sugar have been contracted at zero duty and most of it has already arrived, the official said, adding imports were allowed to ensure there are enough supplies in the domestic market.