Money

Salt Trading pays Rs 50 million to release stranded sugar stock

- SHANKAR ACHARYA, PARSA

Apr 15, 2019-

Salt Trading Corporation has released the remaining 2,500 metric tonnes of sugar that had been lying idle at Sirsiya Dry Port following the import restriction imposed by the government after paying Rs50 million collateral on April 1.

The sugar had been imported targeting the Dashain, Tihar and Chhat festivals when demand for sugar increases significantly.

According to Animesh Kumar, financial head and information officer of Himalayan Terminals, the corporation had also deposited Rs10 million as collateral two months ago to release 10,000 sacks of sugar.

Kumar said that the corporation still has to pay Rs68.5 million in dues which includes warehouse fares and other charges incurred till February 27.

The corporation has been allowed to release its 2,500 metric tonne sugar stock at Sirsiya dry port and 144 metric tonnes sugar at Nepalgunj customs following the Cabinet’s decision two months before. On September 17, 2018, the government imposed quantitative restriction on imported sugar. The government took the measure in the name of protecting domestic sugar producers who were complaining about not being able to sell the domestic product as cheaper imported sugar had dominated the market.

However, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said that sugar mill owners had tricked him into imposing quantitative restriction on sugar imported from India.

The corporation purchased 5,000 metric tonnes of sugar from an Indian company through a global tender last year.

The corporation imports huge amount of sugar to sell at subsidised rate targeting festivals shoppers.

Since last year, the government doubled the customs duty on sugar import to 30 percent to protect domestic sugar producers.

In 2016-17, Nepal imported 56,100 tonnes of sugar worth Rs3.68 billion. A total of 106,200 tonnes of sugar worth Rs5.72 billion was imported in the last fiscal year.

Published: 15-04-2019 08:30

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