The Group of Ministers (GoM) on 16 January 2014 approved the incentives to the sugar industry for exports of up to 40 lakh tonnes of raw sugar for two years. The GoM was headed by Sharad Pawar, the Union Agriculture Minister.
The panel was constituted by Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India on 28 November 2013 to address the financial problems faced by the sugar industry. With this plan, raw sugar will be promoted as a new product in the international market. As per K V Thomas, the Union Food Minister the quantum incentives would be worked out by taking inputs from the Finance Ministry.
The panel in its recommendation to the government asked to provide an incentive on the export of raw sugar on per ton basis on the export of 40 lakh tonnnes. The incentive would be adjusted from the Sugar Development Fund (SDF).
Earlier, the government provided the subsidy of 1450 rupees a tonne in 2007-08 on the export of 60 lakh tonnes of sugar. But this time, the incentive will be only applicable on the export of the raw sugar and the current incentive plan is being worked at present. Generally India produces only white sugar, which is largely consumed in the country itself. Due to high production costs and low selling price, the 80000 crore rupees sugar industry of India is facing financial problems. The CCEA on 26 December 2013 cleared a proposal that allows a loan amount of 6600 crore rupees, which will be interest-free to the sugar companies. The loan interests will be borne by the SDF and the government itself.