PUNE: The Indian Sugar Mills Association has demanded an increase in import duty on the sweetener from 40% to 60% to prevent dumping of the commodity following the fall in international raw sugar prices. It has also demanded reduction in goods and services tax on ethanol from 18% to 5%. Global sugar prices have fallen nearly 30% in three months to about 15 cents per pound.
“Prices have fallen due to an expected major turnaround in global sugar production and estimated surplus from all major sugar producing countries including India. Global sugar prices fell steeply when Brazilian production started in April,” the association said in a letter to the Government.
The association said that if raw sugar prices fall further, even at the current 40% import duty, raw sugar could be easily and profitably imported into India. “If that happens, current domestic prices may see a major fall, making it unviable for the sugar mills,” it said in the letter.