Government strips Nafed of sugar import task

The government will keep co-operative major Nafed out of the task of importing white sugar and has allotted the job to public-sector trading firms PEC, STC and MMTC.

A decision to this effect has been taken by the committee of secretaries (CoS) at its meeting on 4 May.

Nafed, which has been allowed to import sugar duty-free along with PEC, STC, MMTC, has not so far bought any sugar overseas and the committee is of the view that the co-operative will not be in a position to do the job.

The government had apportioned the quota among the four firms, with each importing up to 2.5 lakh tonnes of sugar.

Now, PEC, STC and MMTC together will import up to 10 lakh tonnes of white sugar at zero duty.  The three PSUs together have so far imported 50,000 tonnes of sugar since 9 April, when the government approved duty-free import of refined sugar.

However, the government does not expect the three PSUs to import more than two lakh tonnes of the sweetener before 1 August.