NEW DELHI (Commodity Online): India, the largest sugar consumer in the world, is unlikely to reinstate customs duty on raw sugar import despite a fall in sugar prices and the projected higher output this year.

The sugar industry urged the government for the restoration of import duty in order to discourage import in the wake of falling sugar prices in the country. While the government decided to continue duty free sugar.

As of now there is no proposal to re-impose duty on sugar import, said India's Food and Agriculture Minister, Sharad Pawar, said at a 'Kharif' campaign conference.

Sugar prices drifted from Rs 48 a kg to Rs 35 a kg in the retail market in the country.

Meanwhile, India's sugar output forecasted to rise above 17 million tonnes in 2009-2010 as against the previous estimation of 14-15 million tonnes due to higher acreage under sugar cane cultivation in states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.

The Minister said that due to the rise in sugar cane cultivation and better recovery rate in the states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, the country could achieve more than estimated sugar production this year.

When international market realised that sugar production is going to be higher in India, the global price started falling and it has now reached at $ 530 a tonnes from the level of $ 790-800 a few months back, he said, adding that domestic prices have also declined and the trend shows that it would reduce further.