No more sugar imports this fiscal year: FinMin

Published On: September 19, 2018 05:45 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Sept 19: The country will not be importing sugar until the end of the current fiscal year, a move that is sure to drive sugar prices up in the domestic market.

The 100,000 tons of sugar imported through the government's fixed quota has already been used up, and consumers are likely to face supply crunch.

Speaking at a press meet in Kathmandu on Tuesday, Minister for Finance Yuba Raj Khatiwada said that the government's fixed quota has already been consumed.

"The quota was used as a facility given by the World Trade Organization," Khatiwada said. "It will help in ensuring payment to cane growers."

The government has already hiked customs tariff to 30 percent from 15 percent to thwart import. However, hundreds of sugarcane-growers are yet to be paid their dues by the sugar mills.

Consumer activists say that the government's move to stop sugar import will deprive Nepali consumers of enjoying falling sugar prices of international markets.

"This is an open syndicate that the government has supported in the interest of sugar mills," said Bishnu Timilsina, a consumer rights activist. "Now the prices will go higher."

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