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Finance Ministry to facilitate in sugar import


Nepalnews
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2023 Sep 17, 17:35, Kathmandu

Industry and Commerce and Labour and Consumer Welfare Committee under the parliament has directed the Finance Ministry to grant permission for a tax discount on import of sugar.

The Ministry has been urged to ensure the VAT exemption and one percent discount on customs duty on imports of 50,000 metric tons of sugar as demanded by the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies to address potential shortages of sugar during a festival period.

Prior to this, the Ministry of Commerce approached the Finance Ministry, seeking its facilitation to bring in given quantity of sugar in view of the upcoming festivals and was permitted to import just 20,000 metric tons of sugar with a 50-percent concession on customs duty, according to Ministry Secretary Madhu Kumar Marasini.

In this context, the Committee has urged the Finance Ministry to facilitate the Commerce Ministry to import of sugar on concession. Committee President Abdul Khan said the Committee's attention has been drawn towards the report that the Commerce Ministry's request for easing the imports of daily essentials including sugar and rice when festivals are approaching was not addressed by the Finance Ministry.

In addition to this, the Committee has sought the role of the Commerce Ministry to food adulteration, artificial shortage of food, its supplies on black-market, illegal hoarding, unusual price hike, and other unethical practices in the market by making its market monitoring effective with sufficient arrangements of human resources. The government has been asked for opening fair price shops at various parts of the country and for ensuring smooth and quality supplies of daily essentials during festivals.

The Secretary apprised the Committee that they have already written to the Indian side for sufficient sugar exports to Nepal during festivals and the later promised to make the supplies as demanded by Nepal.

The government imposes 30 percent customs duty on sugar import and the government has prepared to import 10,000 metric tons of sugar via the Salt Trading Corporation and 10,000 metric tons from the Food Management and Trading Company Limited.

In the meeting, National Consumers Forum Chair Premlal Maharjan apprised that though the supply of daily essentials is at ease, the market is skyrocketing. Consumers face unexpected price rises of goods.

In the meeting, the Committee members advised the government to maintain integrated data about the demand, production and supplies of sugar, to address the issues of sugarcane farmers, to pursue a policy of self-sufficiency in sugar production and intensify and strengthen the market monitoring.

The meeting has decided to conduct market monitoring in view of the upcoming festivals deciding to a form a dedicated committee for market monitoring.

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