Crackdown on sugar mills likely

By: Imran Ali Kundi

ISLAMABAD (January 28 2010): Federal Government is contemplating to initiate another crackdown against the sugar mills for selling the commodity at high prices, which would further deepen the sugar crises, TheNation has learnt on Wednesday.

In a meeting on the prevailing sugar crises held in the Federal Finance Ministry on Monday, it was suggested that the Government should launch crackdown against the sugar mills, which are selling sugar at high prices in the country. Sources told TheNation that the sugar mills are earning high profit by selling it at high prices.

According to sources, the production cost of sugar is Rs 60 per kg for the sugar mills while they are selling the commodity at Rs 75 per kg; therefore they are earning the profit up to Rs 15 per kg, which is too high.

It is worth mentioning here that the Government had launched crackdown against the sugar mills in last year, which resulted in disappearance of the commodity from the market and was not even available at high prices. It is feared that if Government will start crackdown against them (sugar mills), they may once again disappear the commodity from the market. Prices of sugar went beyond Rs 75 per kg in the country wherever it is available. Meanwhile, the commodity is not available at high prices in most of the cities even in the adjoining areas of the Federal Capital.

Pakistan Sugar Mills Association has already rejected the Government’s proposal to import sugar by the private sector. It feared that if it would import the commodity at high prices and kept in the warehouses, the Government might initiate another crackdown against the mills.

When contacted Iskandar Khan, Chairman of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association for his comment on the said issue, he told TheNation, “We are not responsible for high price of sugar as the PSMA is purchasing sugarcane at Rs 240 per 40 kg from the farmers, which is the reason for high cost of the commodity in the country.” He said that it would be totally unjust with the sugar mills’ owners and would discourage investment in the country.

Courtesy: The DAWN

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