Nepal government lifts sugar import restriction; opportunity for India

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The Nepal government has lifted the sugar import restriction in the country. According to the Dinesh Bhattarai, spokesperson for the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, “Government decided not to extend quantitative restriction on sugar import beyond the end of the fiscal year 2018-19.”

Earlier, the government continued ban of sugar import for the next three months, which was initially in place only till mid-April.

With the lifting of import restriction, it has paved the way for sugar mills in India to encash this opportunity and explore for sugar export in Nepal. India is already struggling with the surplus sugar, and export in Nepal can help in to reduce the sugar glut in India.

The ban was imposed after the domestic sugar industry claimed that they cannot compete with sugar from other countries. The excessive supply of cheaper foreign sugar in the domestic market had lowered the demand for comparatively costly Nepali sugar.

In March 2018, the govt had raised import duty on sugar to 30 per cent from 15 per cent to promote domestic sugar. However, even after that local sugar mills were struggling, following which Nepal Government banned the import of sugar from India and Pakistan in October 2018 to assure a market for domestic produce.

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