Sugar crisis unresolved, price hike continues

According to Baaghi TV reports, Punjab government spokesman Hassan Khawar has said that there is an ample stock of sugar in the market, not a supply crisis.

Hassan Khawar, Punjab government spokesperson said that imported sugar is available in the market at rs.90/kg meanwhile, 23,000 tons of sugar is being transferred from Karachi with an added 34,000 tons of sugar is stored in ships. Khawar stated that a stock of approximately 30,000 tons of sugar is still available at utility stores with an additional private stick of almost 40,000 to 50,000 tons available.

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According to reports, Hassan Khawar has stated that the sugar stock is sufficient for the people’s needs, who can use imported sugar till the beginning of the crushing season. He added that the federation and government of Punjab is offering a subsidy of rs.5 million on sugar. According to Khawar, the authorities will take strict action against any mill owners who are involved in selling otherwise. He went on to say that some mills have been sealed for not providing records while the opposition is busy politicizing the sugar crisis. 

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A crackdown has been carried out in Bahawalpur against sugar hoarders during which thirteen warehouses have been shut, eleven people have been arrested and ten cases have been registered against the arrested persons. On the other hand, sugar has allegedly disappeared from the marketplaces following the implementation of price control and fines. Sugar trading in Lahore’s grain markets has also been suspended. Moreover, sugar has reportedly been removed from Baghbanpura, Kahna, and Akbari mandi areas of Lahore. 

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According to reports, trading of local sugar has also been stopped, with shopkeepers stopping trade due to fear of fines. Meanwhile, the public has claimed that they are only getting products for lower quality and higher prices. Additionally, the price of sugar has risen to rs.160 in Quetta. 

On the other hand, Sikander Mirza, vice-chairman of the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association has said that the government policies are responsible for the ongoing sugar crisis. The sugar mills have a limited stock, the government had been asked to import more but it was not heeded in time. He added that despite the crisis of sugar, four tenders to import sugar have been canceled.

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Sikandar Mirza further said that the recent increase in the price of sugar, which had severe negative effects due to the cancellation of tenders, was being blamed on sugar mills which is baseless. The recent rise in prices is temporary., there are problems in starting new crushing. If the government is able to resolve these problems then we will start. There is no ‘hoarding’ in the country. 

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Moreover, Opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif has said that if the government is unable to curb the price hike and ongoing crisis of essentials such as flour, sugar, ghee, medicines, electricity, gas, and petrol then the current Prime Minister, Imran Khan, needs to resign from his position. According to Sharif, it is the responsibility of the PM to provide immediate relief to the people by handing in his resignation. Sharif further stated that following the sugar crisis, an increase in the petrol and electricity prices is an inflation bomb for the public, which is why this government of ‘tyranny’ cannot continue to work. 

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According to reports, Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar had taken notice of the price hike. CM Buzdar had reportedly convened a meeting earlier today to take immediate steps to stabilize the sugar price hike.

Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Bazdar took stern notice of the artificial rise in sugar prices. Chief Minister Usman Bazdar has convened an important meeting today. The meeting will take immediate steps to stabilize the price of sugar. Important decisions are expected to provide sugar to the people at fixed rates. Provincial Minister for Industry Mian Aslam Iqbal, Chief Secretary Advocate General Punjab, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Secretary Food, Secretary Law, Secretary Agriculture, Secretary Industry, Commissioner Lahore Division, Cane Commissioner Punjab, and concerned officials were present. 

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