Thursday, April 11, 2019

Sugar import higher than market demand

Nepal imported more than three folds sugar last fiscal year compared to a year before exceeding the actual demand of the domestic market.
According to the 56th annual report of Office of the Auditor General (OAG), the country imported a total of 274,000 metric tonnes of sugar in the last fiscal year 2017-18, against import of 71,000 metric tonnes in the fiscal year 2016-17.
The import of sugar surged also due to falling price in the international market. The government had also banned the sugar import following pressure from the sugar mill owners finally to be tricked by them, according to the Prime Minister. Finance Ministry had also increased import duty from 15 per cent to 30 per cent on December 11, 2017. However, the decision was implemented only on April 17, 2018.
The government lost Rs 536 million revenue due to delay in implementation of the decision,” reads the report. While the sugar import increased significantly, sugar produced within the country remained stored in warehouses, according to the mill owners. Consequently, sugar mill operators are yet to clear their dues to the sugarcane farmers, while the market was flooded by cheap imported sugar. But the mill owners raised the price of the sugar – immediately after the import ban – hitting the consumer hard.

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