Nepal will import 20,000 metric tonnes of sugar from India ahead of the festive season.

Prior to future festivities like Vijaya Dashami and Deepawali, the Nepali government plans to import 20,000 metric tonnes (MT) of sugar from India to accommodate domestic demand. The Finance Ministry has approved the import of only 20,000 MT of sugar at this time, despite the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies’ request for a 60,000 MT waiver of customs in order to meet local demand.

Dhaniram Sharma, a spokesman for the Finance Ministry, claims that the Ministry has granted a 50% discount on customs tax, which is 15% less than the 30% customs charge that had previously been imposed.

According to Sharma, two businesses, Salt Trading Corporation (STC) and Food Management and Trading Company, would each import 10,000 MT of sugar for the approaching festival season. However, STC’s divisional manager, Brajesh Jha, said that the company had requested authorization from the government to import 50,000 MT of sugar.

Jha estimates that Nepal has to import a sizable amount of sugar, mostly from India, to meet its high local sugar consumption, which is 3,00,000 MT. Around 1,00,000 MT of sugar are produced by 12 sugar mills in Nepal.

At least 70% of the sugar Nepal imports comes from India, according to an estimate. Additionally, hundreds of tonnes of sugar are imported without paying customs duty through illegal channels. On the illegal market in Kathmandu, sugar is sold for between 100 and 125 Nepali Rupees per kilogram, compared to 40 to 50 Rupees in India.

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