In February this year, the Centre had announced a subsidy for exports of raw sugar up to 4 million tonnes in order to help the cash-starved industry clear sugarcane arrears to farmers. The subsidy scheme ended in September 2014.

"No decision has been taken as of now to extend the export subsidy," Paswan told reporters here.

The minister said that status quo remains as far as the subsidy issue is concerned.

The subsidy was originally fixed at Rs 3,300 per tonne for February-March and the Centre had decided to review the quantum of subsidy every two months.

Incentive was reduced to Rs 2,277 per tonne for April-May and the same was reinstated at Rs 3,300 per tonne for June- July. For August-September, the subsidy was hiked to Rs 3,371 per tonne.

Under the export incentive scheme, India had exported 7 lakh tonnes of raw sugar in 2013-14 marketing year (October- September).

Last month, a top food ministry official said that the government would consider extending subsidy on exports of raw sugar after assessing the production estimates for the current 2014-15 marketing year and sugarcane arrears to farmers.
Paswan said, the total sugarcane arrears to farmers in the country till November 18 this year have come down to Rs 4,300 crore from Rs 14,095 crore in May-end.

Maximum cane arrears remained in Uttar Pradesh, the country's second biggest producing state. The amount has come down to Rs 1,600 crore from Rs 4,500 crore in May this year, he added.

Recently, Paswan said "the government is open to extending export subsidy on raw sugar".     

However, the government is yet to decide whether to continue the export subsidy in the current marketing year amid fall in global prices, making the exports unviable.

Sugar production of India, the world's second largest producer after Brazil, has increased by 22 percent to 5.6 lakh tonnes till November 15 of the current 2014-15 season as compared with 4.62 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period, according to industry body ISMA.

The government has pegged overall sugar output at 250.5 lakh tonnes for this season, while the ISMA has estimated theproduction at 250-255 lakh tonnes.

The production estimates for the current marketing year are higher than 244 lakh tonnes of sugar produced in 2013-14.

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