Sugar trade body AISTA on Wednesday called on the government to increase the minimum sale price of sugar as the sweetener is sold at prices below the cost of production in the country.
The minimum sale price for sugar has been kept unchanged at ₹3,100 per quintal since 2019 even though the fair and remunerative price (PRF) for sugar cane has been increased every year.
The All India Sugar Trade Association (AISTA) has made representation in this regard to the Food Secretary, Sanjeev Chopra.
“Sugar has been sold as low as ₹3,100-3,200 per quintal in Maharasthra and Karnataka during the Nov-March period of the current 2022-23 season, which is 10% lower than the cost of production “, said AISTA President Praful Vithalani.
The minimum sale price should be higher than the production cost, which ranges from ₹3,400 to ₹3,600 per quintal, he said.
In the representation, AISTA said that the government had increased the FRP for sugarcane in the last four sugar seasons (October-September), but there had been no corresponding increase in the price. minimum sale.
“Therefore, the government may consider increasing the minimum sale price of sugar, which will also encourage farmers to increase sugar cane plantations in the country,” he said.
That aside, the trade body has urged the government to extend the benefit of the Remission of Duties, Taxes On Export Products (RODTEP) scheme to sugar.
Under the RODTEP program, duties and taxes are paid at a fixed rate on export products falling under the “free category” only. Since sugar has been kept in the “restricted” category, traders do not currently benefit from it.
AISTA said the benefits should be extended because sugar was placed in the “restricted category” not because of shortages but to regulate exports. “For technical reasons, the benefits of RODTEP for sugar should not be taken away,” he added.
India is the second largest sugar producer after Brazil in the world. The government has authorized the export of 6 million tons in the current 2022-23 season.