February 6, 2018 / 3:42 PM / 3 months ago

India doubles sugar import tax to 100 percent

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India raised the import duty on sugar to 100 percent from 50 percent, a government order said on Tuesday, as falling prices of the sweetener made it difficult for local mills to pay the mandatory price to cane farmers.

A labourer carries a sack filled with sugar in a store at a wholesale market in Kolkata, February 15, 2016. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files

The hike in import tax could halt sporadic imports from neighbouring Pakistan, which has been giving a subsidy for the foreign sales.

Sugar prices have fallen 17 percent in the local market since the start of the marketing year on Oct. 1, making it difficult for mills to pay farmers the 11 percent hike in cane prices.

India, the world’s second-biggest sugar producer, requires processors to pay cane farmers within two weeks of the harvest.

The south Asian country also raised import duty on chickpeas, also known as chana, to 40 percent from 30 percent, a separate government order said.

Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav, editing by David Evans

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