Lahore: Pakistan Sugar Mills Association – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Zone condemns the arrest of sugar mill owners and other senior management in Punjab. This alarming situation has further exacerbated the crisis-like situation of the sugar industry which is already facing severe financial constraints.
As the crushing season is around the corner, sugar mills are perturbed over the looming situation of any government order for early start of the crushing season. If the last year’s practice of early starting the crushing season will be employed then it will affect the overall production of the sugar, forcing the government to import sugar.
At present, approximate Rs.500 billion worth sugarcane crop is ready and if illegal practices like the Punjab government used to employ will continue, then it will not only damage the interest of the farmers and industry but also to the country. We urge the government to help steer the sugar industry out of this grim situation.
Furthermore, it is important to note that Government is importing sugar ranging between $600-$700 per tonne, at a landed value of Rs 130 per kilogram without any tax. The Government of Pakistan has exempted this sugar from all taxes which is completely unfair to the local sugar industry and against the fundamental rights of growers, millers and all those that are dependent on the industry. In effect, the Government is subsidizing the foreign sugar industry and penalizing its own Pakistani Sugar Industry.
Therefore, resolution of issues via dialogue will not only help the industry to present its point of view, but is critical for the survival of Sugar Industry, growers and rural economy.
We request the Federal Government to hold dialogue for resolving all issues instead of going for humiliation of those who had invested billions of rupees in the local industry.