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SC show cause over customs duty on sugar

- Post Report, Kathmandu

May 15, 2018-

The Supreme Court on Monday issued a show cause notice to the government regarding its decision to raise the customs duty on sugar imports.

Responding to a writ filed at the Supreme Court by Naresh Dugar of Gyan Enterprises, a partner company of KL Dugar, the single bench of Justice Bam Bahadur Shrestha issued the notice against the government decision. The government had raised the customs tariff on sugar imports from 15 percent to 30 two months ago. Sources said the goverment’s decision was influenced by the sugar mills. But the government maintained the move was meant to prevent the growing under-invoicing in sugar imports.

Sashi Agrawal, president of the Nepal Sugar Producers Association, however, called for the need to increase the tariff. “It is difficult for sugar mills to make payments to farmers while our production is not getting proper market and price,” Agrawal said.

According to him, the sugar mills have been paying on an average Rs63 per kg to the sugarcane farmers. “As there is no other protection measures for the government to safeguard the sugar mills, imports of cheap sugar are likely to affect the domestic production,” he said.

On the other hand, consumers’ rights activist Prem Lal Maharjan said the decision to increase import duty on sugar unfair. “This will only make the product more costly in the domestic market.”

Published: 15-05-2018 08:39

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