Sugar exports subsidy must be phased out, says Chidambaram (Lead)

August 29th, 2008 - 4:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 29 (IANS) Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Friday said the subsidy given to sugar exporters has to be phased out as India has emerged as a major global player this year.”Subvention given for sugar exports must now come to an end. Enough sugar has been exported and I have spoken to the ministry of agriculture on this,” the finance minister told reporters while launching currency futures at the National Stock Exchange here.

The Indian government has been offering sugar exporters around $30-35 a tonne as doles to help them and cut huge stocks. The agriculture ministry feels that the Indian raw sugar is competitive in the Middle East and some Asian markets.

The finance minister’s comments came against the backdrop of India emerging as a big player of the commodity in the global markets with industry pegging exports at 4.5 million tonnes in the current sugar year, which runs from October to September.

For the coming year, the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), which represents private sector sugar companies, projects exports to fall to 1.5 million tonnes, with total output also falling to 200 million tonnes from 265 million tonnes.

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