New Delhi– The Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) on Friday said that the imposition of a 20 percent export duty on sugar will hamper shipments of the commodity abroad.

“With the recent spurt in global prices, sugar exports from India was just about becoming viable but the 20 percent export duty which translates into around 100 USD per ton will make Indian exports unviable,” Abinash Verma, Director General, ISMA was quoted as saying in a statement.

Verma pointed out that latest steps indicates that the government intends to save sugar for domestic usage.

“It seems that the government wants to conserve sugar domestically in view of an expected fall in sugar production in the next 2016-17 sugar season,” Verma pointed out.

“Though there is enough availability of sugar next year, thanks to a reasonably high estimated opening balance of 70 lac tons on 1st October 2016.”

Verma added that the export duty on sugar will ensure a healthier opening balance for 2017-18 season.

On Thursday, the government decided to impose an export duty of 20 percent on sugar.

“To keep the domestic prices of sugar under check, government has decided to impose export duty of 20 percent on the export of raw sugar, white or refined sugar,” the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on Thursday.

A notification to this effect was also issued by the Central Board of Excise and Customs. (IANS)