Pakistan decides to waive import duty on raw sugar

Pakistan has decided to waive the duty on imports of raw sugar, and is in the process of finalizing the details on it, Agriculture Minister Nazar Mohammad Gondal said on Tuesday.

“We have taken a decision on waiving the duty on the import of raw sugar,” he said.

Pakistan has a 25 percent duty on raw sugar imports.

The government has set up a committee to decide on the quantity and timing of the import and the panel is expected to submit its report in the next few days, he said.

Pakistan this year issued a series of tenders to import a total of 1.2 million tonnes of sugar.

The country is expected to more import more as the government said last week it expected a shortfall of about 1.2 million tonnes of sugar after floods damaged the 2010/11 crop.

The government has not provided statistics on the expected sugar output, but a senior official said it was estimated at 3 million tonnes. Pakistan annually consumes about 4.2 million tonnes of sugar.

Total domestic sugar stocks stand at 400,000 tonnes.

The country produced a little over 3 million tonnes of white sugar from the 2009/10 crop.

Anjum Bashir, the chairman of the state-run Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), which issued the sugar tenders, said a total of 423,000 tonnes of sugar has already arrived and the remaining quantity was expected in the next few months.