Monday Jan 20, 2020
ISLAMABAD: A serious case of sugar shortage has emerged in Pakistan as the country already stumbles amid a wheat crisis that has jacked up prices of bread to more than Rs12-15 apiece.
During the incumbent government's 15 months, sugar prices have shot up to as high as Rs64 a kilo. However, over the past week, the wholesale rate rose from Rs64 to Rs74 per kg and an acute shortage surfaced in the country.
Last year, Pakistan produced 600,000 tonnes of sugar. Now, however, the wholesale rate of sugar is expected to reach Rs80 a kilo next week.
Further, if the government does with sugar what it did with fine wheat flour and does not halt exporting it, prices could reach up to Rs100 per kg in Pakistan.
During former president Pervez Musharraf's tenure, sugar prices had skyrocketed to Rs105 per kilo during the month of Ramazan.
It is noteworthy that Pakistan's flour crisis has become acute, affecting major cities such as Karachi, Hyderabad, and Lahore and with prices shooting up to Rs70 a kilo in some areas.
Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan took notice of the wheat price hike, ordering a grand operation against hoarders to overcome the crisis.