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Lok Sabha passes Sugar Cess (Amendment) Bill

Reporter's Diary

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The Lok Sabha on Tuesday cleared the Sugar Cess (Amendment) Bill, 2015. It was introduced in the Parliament earlier in the day by the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan. The Bill aims at increasing sugar cess to Rs 200/quintal from Rs 25/quintal.

The Sugar Cess (Amendment) Bill, 2015, has been brought forward as a committed expenditure on account of various interventions to faciliate liquidation of arrears of cane dues, which necessitates enhancement of accruals into the Sugar Development Fund from cess, its statement of objects and reasons says.

Abinash Verma of Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) says this proposal is aimed at empowering the government to increase the cess. However, the government may not increase it to Rs 200 per quintal, instead it may raise it to Rs 100 per quintal, which means the duty on sugar will rise by Rs 1 per kg, he told CNBC-TV18.

The idea is to collect funds to help sugarcane farmers, he further adds. 

An enhancement in rate of cess has been necessitated to meet the increasing liabilities and finance interventions to ensure timely payments of cane dues to farmers, the statement further adds.

(With inputs from PTI)

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