Punjab acquiring 100,000 tonnes of sugar to resolve crisis


LAHORE: In a bid to rein in the price of sugar in the province, the Punjab government has decided to acquire 100,000 tonnes of imported sugar from the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP).
In this regard, Punjab Food Secretary Irfan Elahi has left for Karachi to purchase the requisite sugar stock. Talking to reporters at the airport, Elahi said the provincial government had decided to control skyrocketing price of sugar and he was going to Karachi to make immediate arrangements for the dispatch of sugar to the province.
Sources in the Punjab Food Department said the provincial government would offload the 100,000 tonnes of imported sugar at subsidised rates through special bazaars and fair price shops. The Food Department officials estimated that the price of sugar would fall by 15 to 20 percent in a week after the provincial government intervened in the open market.
The sources said that in order to avoid the shortage of sugar near Eidul Azha, it had been decided that 15,000 tonnes of sugar would be offloaded daily for first five days.
They said the sugar sale price had not been not yet finalized by the Punjab government.
However, the provincial government was of the view that legitimate profit would be provided to sugar dealers, they added.
The sources revealed that the Punjab chief minister had directed all sugar mills in the province to start crushing season before Eidul Azha in order to overcome the sugar crisis.
The price of white refined sugar dropped by Rs 5 to Rs 6 per kilogramme in the wholesale markets on Tuesday, as a 50-kilogramme bag was traded at Rs 4,950 to Rs 5,050 in Akbari Market.
However, there was no respite in the retail price, which remained around Rs 108-Rs 110 per kg.