Sunday Mar 28, 2021
LAHORE: The government has decided to fix sugar prices in order to stabilise its rate in the market after action against the sugar mafia failed to impact prices of the commodity, The News reported on Sunday.
The development comes amid surging sugar prices across the country. According to reports, sugar is now being sold for up to Rs110 per kg in different parts of the country.
This despite an early and improved domestic sugar harvest when compared to the one last year and the import of significantly large quantities.
In this regard, a meeting was held under the direction of the federal government, Saturday in the provincial metropolis where it was decided in principle to fix the ex-mill sugar price at around Rs82 per kg.
The government wants to ensure reasonable prices before the onset of Ramadan.
A senior official of the Punjab Food Department said that after getting a formal green signal from the federal government, the new price of sugar is expected to be announced by Tuesday.
The announced price will at least be lesser by around Rs10-15 per kg than the prevailing prices of the sweetener.
There have been efforts made to curb price hike which has been increasing in the country at a time when warehouses are full of the newly manufactured surplus commodity.
Official sources told The News that sugar stocks of mills would be seized if manufacturers do not follow the new price mechanism. Following new legal initiatives, the government now has sweeping powers about streamlining the sugar supply chain, said sources.
Importantly, the provincial government on Saturday took a drastic step for launching a direct supply of sugar from mills to market, bypassing brokers, who were allegedly involved in artificially jacking up the price of sweetener.
“We have made arrangements with certain mills for the supply of sugar directly to several dealers. This process has started and it would greatly help in meeting the demand of sweetener ahead of the holy month of Ramazan,” said officials.
The move comes following reports of sugar unavailability at the retail level in the provincial capital.
Complaints about sugar shortage have been rampant and its price is also on the rise. People complained that they have to pay over Rs110 to Rs115 for buying one kilogram of sugar.
The short supply of sugar is being witnessed in the market following a strike by dealers over punitive action by the government against brokers.
This led to the suspension of the supply of sugar to a large extent. Even if sugar is available at some places, the wholesale rate being demanded for the commodity is between Rs104 to Rs106 per kg.
Consumers have demanded the government to ensure the availability of sugar at retail outlets at a reasonable rate after curbing its black marketing.
Meanwhile, the government has blacklisted those sugar mills that have not been able to supply commodities as per conditions of the tender floated by the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP).