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Govt notifies sugar import duty hike to 15% from 10%

NEW DELHI: Government issued a notification on Tuesday to implement a hike in import duty on sugar to 15 per cent from 10 per cent as the world's top sugar consumer tries to prop up local prices which are falling due to ample and cheap global supplies.

In a meeting last week, key government ministries agreed to raise import tax on the sweetener.

The duty increase could mean a halt to country's sugar imports, which have already slowed to a trickle following a sharp drop in the rupee which makes dollar-denominated world sugar more expensive. A halt in imports would pressure global prices further as stocks would not ease.

Indian mills and traders mainly import raw sugar and sell it in the local market after refining. India has been importing sugar despite surplus local production as the commodity is cheaper in the world market due to a bumper output in Brazil.

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