agreed to withdraw the 40 percent duty on sugar imports from India.
The decision for duty withdrawal was
taken at a meeting between Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed and Indian Food and
Public Distribution Secretary Ravi Kant at Ahmed's secretariat office in Dhaka.
At present, Bangladesh has to pay 40 percent
duty for the import of sugar from India as this product is on the negative list
of Bangladesh for giving protection to local industry.
Bangladesh’s annual demands of sugar is 16 lakh
tonnes, of which state owned sugar Mills produce only 80,000 tonnes and the
rest is met by the import by private sector.
India, the world's second biggest sugar
producer, is set to produce 35.5 million tonnes of sugar between October 2018
and September 2019 and surpass Brazil as the world's top sugar producer,
according to the India Sugar Mills Association (ISMA).
In the ongoing season that began on Oct 1, the
opening stock of the sweetener was 10.7 million tonnes. Considering an expected
domestic consumption of 25.5-26.0 million tonnes and likely export of 4-5
million tonnes, the closing stock for the season is likely to be 11.2-12.7
million tonnes, according to ISMA data.
Bangladesh and India will sign a
memorandum of understanding (MoU) to ease the import of sugar from India.