ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - The government is likely to import 300,000 tonnes of raw sugar later this year as the next sugar crop will provide considerably less of the sweetener than annual consumption of over 4 million tonnes, officials said on Wednesday. Countrys 2009/10 sugar crop is expected around 3 million tonnes as against 3.2 million tonnes in the last year, when it did not import raw sugar. A senior official at the ministry of industries said the government had decided in principle to import 300,000 tonnes of raw sugar later this year to meet domestic needs. He said the ministry had also suggested the government to review the duty structure on sugar to be imported by the private sector. The country has a 26 percent duty on import of raw sugar. The PSMA (Pakistan Sugar Mills Association) will allocate quota for mills to import raw sugar, the official of the industries ministry, who declined to be identified, said. K Ali Qazalbash, secretary general of the private PSMA, said: There has been nearly 8 percent less sowing this season ... We are expecting the sugar production of around 3m tonnes from the new crop. The sugar harvest begins from the end of November and lasts up to March. Qazalbash said his association had already suggested to the government to import one million tonnes of raw sugar that could be crushed along with the new crop. Government decided in February to import 200,000 tonnes of white sugar to meet demand and keep a check on prices after output fell to an estimated 3.2 million tonnes in the 2008/09 crop compared with 4.7 million tonnes in the previous year. The state-run Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) has imported 125,000 tonnes of white sugar but it cancelled two tenders in May and June, for a total of 75,000 tonnes, after stocks built up to a comfortable level. The Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet, the governments top decision-making body on economic issues, on Tuesday allowed the TCP to import the remaining 75,000 tonnes after domestic prices of sugar soared in the retail market. Government officials said hoarders were trying to compress supplies to earn unfair profit ahead of Ramadan.