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November 13, 2010

Sugar crisis due to hoarding, black marketing, agriculture minister tells PA

National

November 13, 2010

Karachi
The production of sugar is sufficient in Sindh but it is hoarding and black-marketing that is responsible for an unprecedented increase in sugar prices.
This was stated by Sindh Minister for Agriculture, Ali Nawaz Shah in Sindh Assembly on Friday.
Responding to questions of legislators, the agriculture minister said that there are 32 sugar mills in Sindh province, out of which only eight are being run presently. “Notices have been issued to some mills. The support price of sugarcane was Rs127 per maund this year. The Sindh government has fixed the price of sugar at Rs71 per kilogramme but it would cause losses to the farmers. Last year, the support price of sugarcane was Rs102 per maund but its price has since increased and gone up to Rs250-300 per maund,” he informed.
PPP’s MPA Jam Tamachi observed that the sugar crisis would continue to surface every year until the government ensures crushing season on October 1 as per the concerned Act.
Shah disclosed that work on the Agri-Export Processing Zone Karachi has started. “Work was stopped owing to an inquiry into the allegations of irregularities in the project but now an eight member committee has been set up which has started the work,” he added.
The agriculture minister said that so far the government had distributed 4700 tractors to small farmers and big landlords on concessional rates. The minister said that women farmers have also applied for tractors.
Daughters to take benefit from benevolent fund: The PA unanimously passed the ‘Sindh Government Servants Benevolent Fund (amendment) Bill, 2010’ into law, enabling daughters of deceased employees to take benefit from the Fund.
Sindh Law Minister, Ayaz Soomro informed legislators that under the existing provisions of the Sindh Government Servants Benevolent Fund Ordinance, 1960, unmarried, divorced and widowed sisters, who were wholly dependent upon the deceased employees, are eligible for financial assistance

from the benevolent fund but this benefit is not extended to unmarried, divorced or widowed daughters. Therefore, the law was being amended to bring the daughters at par with the sisters.
The MPAs also unanimously supported amendments in the law moved by MQM’s Heer Soho and Sindh Home Minister, Dr. Zulfiqar Mirza. The law further extends this benefit to legally adopted children of the deceased employee and un-limiting the age of sisters/daughters.