Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

Eleven industries across the country that require sugar as key raw material can now import sugar.

They need 10,000 metric tonnes (MT) of sugar until October end.

India’s Directorate of Sugar and Vegetable Oils granted the special permission on July 19 after the government’s request.

The companies will have to import (or lift) the agreed volume of sugar within 90 days.

This is a result of India’s May 24 decision to stop the export of sugar starting from June 1.

India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade stopped the export of sugar until October 31, 2022. However, it was mentioned that the export of sugar is allowed only with specific permission from the Directorate of Sugar.

Following this import restriction, food, agro, and beverages industries had written to the government through the Association of Bhutanese Industries (ABI) stating factories would get closed if sugar import is suspended.

The industries also have about 1,200 employees.

The chief executive officer of Big Cola in Samtse, Jamyang Choda said: “This is very helpful for the beverage industry and a testimony to the great friendship between Bhutan and India.”

Of the 11 establishments, the Food Corporation of Bhutan Limited (FCBL) will be allowed to import 6,156MT of sugar from Siliguri. Zimdra Foods Private Limited and Tashi Beverages Private Limited will be allowed to import 800MT and 750MT respectively.

Meanwhile, a notification from India on July 19 stated that except for this special permission, all other conditions of the combined export release order issued in June will remain the same.