Jan 11, 2007

Govt lifts sugar export ban sighting record output

The government on Thursday lifted in full a ban on sugar exports with immediate effect, with the country set for record output of the sweetner in the current cane-crushing season to September.
The ban has been lifted in view of higher estimated production and buffer stocks," Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

He said the restrictions had been removed as domestic sugar prices had come down. But he added that exporters would need clearance for their planned sales from the government.

India is the world's second-largest sugar producer and biggest consumer of sugar.

A total ban on exports was announced in July as domestic retail prices soared, adding to inflationary pressures, and was due to run until the end of the financial year in March.

The government last month eased the ban by allowing mills to sell refined sugar in overseas markets to meet their obligations under a raw sugar import scheme. Last week, it issued a notification formally allowing these exports.

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