Sugar mill owners urge government to hike customs duty on sugar

Kathmandu, January 28

Operators of sugar mills in the country have said that they are not in a position to release payments of sugarcane to farmers unless the government raises the customs duty on sugar import.

Citing that the global decline in the price of sugar and increasing import of low-cost sugar have been affecting the sales of domestically produced sugar, sugar mill owners have urged the government to immediately raise customs duty on sugar to 50 per cent so that domestically produced sugar will get a market and sugar factories can release payments to farmers.

At present, the country levies only 15 per cent import duty on sugar.

“Majority of sugar produced by sugar mills in the country is lying idle in warehouses. It is difficult for sugar mill owners to issue payments to farmers while our production is not getting proper market and price,” said Shashi Kanta Agrawal, president of Nepal Sugar Producers Association, at a press meet in Capital today.

As per Agrawal, customs duty hike on sugar import is necessary as Nepali sugar which bears high production cost is failing to compete with low-cost Indian sugar. “The flow of low-cost imported sugar has been troubling both farmers and sugar mills. This can be addressed only after the import duty on sugar is raised.”