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Union government sets export target for sugar mills

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By NewsGram Staff-Writer

New Delhi: In a bid to assist farmers, the Union government on Friday set an export target for the sugar mills. The mills have been given a target of 4 million tonnes of sugar that they need to export for the marketing year ending September 2016.

Photo Credit: news24online.com
Photo Credit: news24online.com

The targets if achieved will help the sugar mills to clear their cane arrears of Rs.14,000 crore to farmers.

“The export quota of four million tonnes (MT) of all grades of sugar has been fixed for sugar factories for 2015-16 marketing year,” the food ministry said in a circular here.

“In view of the inventory levels with the sugar industry and to facilitate achievements of financial liquidity and enable industry to achieve long-run viability, minimum indicative export quotas (MIEQ) are being specified for 2015- 16 sugar season from October 1,” the circular said.

Sugar production is estimated to be at a record 28.3 million tonnes in 2014-15 marketing year (October-September) while the total annual demand is around 24.5 million tonnes.

Due to surplus sugar production, sugar prices in the country have fallen below Rs.20 per kg, while the current cost of production is over Rs.30 a kg.

“The decision of the government to export 4 million tonnes of sugar fixing individual export quotas for each sugar mill will help reduce most of the surplus sugar, which has been depressing domestic sugar prices,” Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) director general Abinash Verma said in a statement here.

“The market sentiments which are down, should improve with this decision and the ex-mill sugar prices which had fallen by Rs.8 to Rs.10 per kilo in last 14 to 16 months, will see some recovery,” he added.

Following a call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider sugar exports, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had said last month that a proposal was under consideration to ship four million tonnes on terms, including barter trade.

“We want to export sugar to those countries where there is a requirement. The industry must take initiative in this regard,” Paswan told reporters on the margins of a conference here. “We also want to promote barter. Otherwise, 40 percent import duty will be fixed and it will be of no use.”

Modi had called for higher ethanol content in petrol and a concerted effort to push exports in a bid to lower the current sugar surplus and protect the interests of farmers to whom factories owe an estimated Rs.15,000 crore in cane arrears.

Besides the arrears to farmers, the meeting came against the backdrop of the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) estimating sugar output for the sugar season 2014-15 (October to September) at 28.3 million tonnes, another 28 million tonnes in the next season, and a carry over of 10 million tonnes.

As a result, supplies have outstripped demand for the fifth straight year. The annual demand is around 25-26 million tonnes.

To address the issues at hand, the government has extended a soft loan of Rs.6,000 crore for the clearance of arrears, raised the import duty on sugar from 15 to 40 percent, increased the export subsidy to Rs.4,000 per tonne and raised the level of ethanol blending in petrol to 10 percent.

The government also allowed the export of an additional 2,095 tonnes of raw sugar to the US under the tariff rate quota, under which imports there attract a relatively lower customs duty. Prior to that, 8,424 tonnes of raw sugar had been notified for export to the US.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Novel Coronavirus: Government Deploys Health Team on Nepal Border

Many Indian students studying in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak have been stuck there

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Coronavirus
The Coronavirus outbreak, which has so far caused 41 deaths in China, and caused the country to quarantine 16 cities, is causing comparisons to the 2003 spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which decreased the value of the global economy by $40 billion. VOA

In the wake of a confirmed case of novel coronavirus in Nepal, the Union Health Ministry has subsequently strengthened its vigil in the areas bordering Nepal.

The recent deployment of health team has taken place at Panitanki in West Bengal, entry point from Nepal, said the Health Ministry on Monday.

“Update on #ncov2020 – Subsequent to confirmed #coronarvirus case in #Nepal, vigil strengthened at Panitanki (West Bengal) entry point from Nepal,” the ministry tweeted.

Earlier on Sunday the ministry had informed that in response to confirmed case of the new virus in the neighbourhood country Nepal, India stepped up vigil in districts bordering Nepal. The health ministry said that teams of medical experts were also deployed at border outpost with Nepal at Jhulaghat and Jauljibi in Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand.

Coronavirus
Southeast Asia’s proximity to China and dependence on that nation for a major share of its economy is raising concerns that the coronavirus outbreak  that started there will not only have health impacts but harm the region’s economies. VOA

In continuation of its efforts to stop the virus from entering in India and making the passengers aware, the ministry has also displayed signage advising the passengers for self reporting and other precautions, disseminated through advisories, at the Mumbai airport.

According to the health ministry, a total of 29,707 passengers from 137 flights have been screened. Fortunately, no case of coronavirus has been found till date.

Also Read: Patients May Suffer Invasive Treatments for Harmless Cancers: Researchers

According to the announcement made by Chinese health authorities on Monday, 2,744 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), including 461 in critical condition and a total of 5,794 suspected cases have also been reported. The killer virus has caused 80 deaths in China, as per Chinese authorities.

Many Indian students studying in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak have been stuck there. The health ministry said it is working closely with the Ministry of External Affairs and is in touch with the students. (IANS)