Sugar mills in Maharashtra will be allowed to start cane crushing from November 5, 2016, nearly a month earlier than previously fixed commencement date of December 1, the Public Ledger can confirm.
The State government advanced the sugar cane crushing issue over concerns that the larger amounts of cane may be diverted for production of unrefined sugar jaggery and mills in neibhouring Karnataka State may procure cane from Maharashtra.
The report however states that government has reiterated its projection that sugar output in Maharashtra will be no more than 5.0 min tonnes in 2016/17, down sharply from 8.4 a year earlier and significantly below an Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) forecast for 6.2 min tonnes.
Meanwhile Indian officials have indicated that the department of Revenue in the Finance Ministry has been directed to examine the implications of a reduction of the sugar import duty. It appears that the Food Ministry would like a full waiver of the import duty, while other departments want a token duty to be maintained.
The Central Government has already introduced a 20% tax on sugar exports over the past six months. It also withdrew the exercise duty concern on production of ethanol and imposed stockholding limits on mills, wholesalers and retailers to check on a price rise in the domestic market caused by failing domestic production.
Source: MITC, 7th February 2017