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Food Ministry favors ban on sugar futures trade

( 13:00, 25-Aug-16)

Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan is favoring a ban on sugar futures trade in the interest of consumers with sugar prices having crossed Rs 40 per kg.  Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had recently held an inter-ministerial consultation on August 22 in order to impose ban on sugar futures trading. This step has been taken in an effort to curb speculation and check price rise of the sweetener during festival season.

The country’s sugar production is estimated to decline to 25 million tonnes (MT) in the 2015-16 season (October-September) from 28.3 MT in the previous year. The outlook for the next year is not encouraging as sugar production is pegged lower at 23.26 MT. ISMA, the industry body, however expects that there would be sufficient sugar stock to meet the domestic demand of 26 MT as the country would have an opening stock of 7 MT.

Besides, the Food Ministry has also recommended that the duty difference between the crude and refined edible oils should be increased to 13% from the current 7.5% in order to protect domestic oilseeds processors. Currently, the duty on crude edible oil is 12.5%, while it is 20% on refined.

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