Hammad says prices will come down in a fortnight as 0.1 million tonnes of sugar has reached Pakistan and 30,000 tonnes more will arrive soon.
ISLAMABAD: Issuing directives for stern action against profiteers and hoarders, Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered the authorities concerned to bring the entire sugar stock for sale in the market.
The prime minister issued these directives while chairing a meeting regarding price control on Monday. The meeting decided that sugarcane crushing would commence from November 15 across the country in accordance with strict enforcement of crushing laws.
The forum was informed that though an adequate quantity of the commodity is available in the market, sugar prices increased due to the closure of sugar mills in Sindh.
“Commodity prices are rising in the international market,” the prime minister said while addressing the meeting. “As Pakistan is dependent on imported goods, it is having an impact on the local market. However, the government is taking all possible steps to reduce the burden on the poor.”
The prime minister categorically stated that profiteering and hoarding will not be tolerated under any circumstances. “The Sugar Factories (Control) Amendment Act 2021, Punjab Prevention of Hoarding Act 2020 and Punjab Registration of Godowns Act 2014 against sugar mafia and hoarders should be implemented,” the premier directed.
The prime minister further stated that different schemes under the Ehsaas programme, such as the Ehsaas Ration, Kamyab Pakistan, Kisan Card and Sehat Card, have been launched to provide relief to the lower-income strata of the country. “The government should be focused on serving the people beyond politics,” he said, adding that the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was aware of the inflation’s effect on the people.
The prime minister said that people should be apprised of “real facts”, and an effective awareness campaign in this regard should be launched.
Federal ministers Hammad Azhar, Fawad Chaudhry, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Syed Fakhar Imam, Dr Farogh Naseem, Finance Advisor Shaukat Tarin, Interior and Accountability Advisor Shahzad Akbar, SAPM Dr Shahbaz Gill, and chairman Federal Board of Revenue were present during the meeting.
Separately, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the authorities concerned to take all necessary measures to provide maximum relief to the common people by making market committees more effective at district and tehsil level.
Chairing a meeting on good governance on Monday, the prime minister said that sufficient control over supply chain, effective implementation of rates, and strict checking against hoarding are being ensured for this purpose.
The prime minister said the government is working hard to ensure effective monitoring of the rates of essential goods through good governance and price control mechanisms. He said that Pakistan is facing negative impacts of price hike due to growing inflation trends in the international market.
‘Sugar prices to come down in fortnight’
Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar has said that sugar prices will come down in the next couple of weeks.
Addressing a press conference, the energy minister said this year sugarcane has recorded a bumper crop, which will meet the requirements of sugar in the country.
He said legal action will be taken if sugar mills in Punjab do not start the crushing well in time. “Around 100,000 tonnes of imported sugar has reached Pakistan, while another order of 30,000 tonnes of sugar will soon arrive in the country. The imported sugar will be sold at Rs90 per kilogram through Utility Stores outlets, mobile trucks, and other means, he added.
The energy minister accused the Sindh government of delaying the crushing season, which was supposed to commence from October 15. He termed the delay in the sugarcane crushing in Sindh province a conspiracy. The minister said that there is a law to run sugar mills on time by the government but the law was not implemented in Sindh where the crushing season starts first.
He demanded that the Sindh government should pass this law and not try to make sugar expensive by colluding with sugar mills. He said Punjab province has also carried comprehensive legislation in that regard.
He said that in the past, sugar mills had received billions of rupees of subsidy; however, the present government would never give any export subsidy to the sugar mills. The minister said that the Sindh government should play its role in ensuring timely crushing of the sugarcane, adding that the earlier Sindh government had also delayed the release of wheat.
Hammad Azhar said that the present government had made historic reforms related to sugar. “Now the duty on imported sugar is zero, the sugar mills will start crushing not by choice but by the decision of the provincial government,” he added.
Ex-mill price of sugar cut by Rs4 to Rs116 per kg in Karachi
The ex-mill price of sugar has been reduced by Rs4 per kg in Karachi, a private television reported while quoting the president Karachi Grocers’ Association.
After the reduction of Rs4, the new ex-mill sugar price is Rs116per kg, while the commodity is being sold at Rs121 per kg in the city’s wholesale market, said President Karachi Grocers’ Association, Abdul Rauf.
He further said that the price of sugar has also recorded a decrease in the retail market and is currently being sold at Rs130 to 135 per kg.