Who said sugar will be sold for Rs 72 per kilogramme?


LAHORE: Despite tall claims of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif of selling sugar at Rs 72 per kilogrammes, either sugar is being sold at higher rates or there is no sugar at a large number of shops in the city, Pakistan Today has learnt. Shopkeepers have declined to sell the commodity owing to high price being charged by distributors. They said that in case of not selling sugar at Rs 72 per kilogramme, they were being fined by the district government.
The consumers were suffering badly at the hands of black marketers and it seemed that there was no government in the province, which could take action against hoarders and ensure the availability of sugar. This was the situation of the provincial capital, where the monitoring system was quite strong but the situation in small cities such as Okara, Sahiwal, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Multan, Bahawalpur and other remote areas of Punjab was even worse.
The Punjab government had announced wholesale sugar prices at Rs 69 per kilogramme while the commodity would be sold for Rs 72 per kilogramme in the retail market. A couple of days ago, Shahbaz had assured people that they would get sugar at Rs 72 per kilogramme and ordered the bureaucracy to make sure the commodity’s availability but it seemed that the CM’s orders had no value, as people were suffering at the hands of hoarders and black marketers.
Shopkeepers said that sugar was not available at Rs 69 per kilogramme from distributors, who were asking them to pay at least Rs 85 per kilogramme. They said that if sugar was sold at higher prices, the district government would impose fines on them.
“I am not getting sugar at the government announced rates therefore it is better that I should not sell sugar rather than being fined,” said shopkeeper Arif Ali of Township adding that distributors had asked retailers to buy sugar at higher rates. Another shopkeeper Khadim Hussain said that he bought sugar at higher rates and only sold it to his confidential customers at Rs 90 per kilogramme.
“My regular customers have requested me to buy sugar for them and I get one bag a week and give the commodity to them,” he said adding that the whole episode was being kept secret, as he could face penalties from the government. “The government instead of checking distributors is bothering retailers,” he lamented.
Consumers said that no shopkeeper was willing to sell sugar at Rs 72 per kilogramme and they were buying the commodity at Rs 90 per kilogramme. “Either the shopkeepers don’t have sugar or are selling it at higher rates,” said consumer Malik Nadeem of Johar Town adding that shopkeepers had nothing to do with the price hike and distributors be asked to sell it at prescribed rates.
“How can the government officers take action against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) workers, who are disguised sugar traders,” Nadeem lamented.