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February 8, 2020

To check hike in prices: 300,000 tons of sugar to be imported

Top Story

February 8, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved forwarding a summary to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) to immediately halt the export of 0.350 million tons of remaining export quota of sugar and allow import of 300,000 tons of sugar through the private sector.

Sources privy to the development said during a recent meeting of the Sugar Advisory Board, it was explained that 1.719 million tons of sugar stock was available in the country.

Traditionally, a strategic reserve of two months is maintained in the country with monthly requirement of 0.458 million tons. Moreover, the meeting was informed that besides availability of three-month stock of sugar, crushing was in process and will continue till March 2020 and therefore the stock position will further improve.

Despite the reports of availability of sufficient stock, sugar prices continued to increase. The prime minister took a serious notice, as there was no cogent reason for this increasing trend.

The prime minister held series of meetings with the divisions concerned and the provincial chief secretaries to ensure that all administrative steps were taken to check sugar hoarding and profiteering.

On the prime minister’s instructions, the chief secretaries were directed to take steps to control hoarding and profiteering in their respective provinces. In spite of administrative actions by the government machinery, the prices continued to show an upward trend thus causing inconvenience to the masses.

To complement administrative action to check increase in the sugar price and provide relief to the masses, the prime minister Friday approved a proposal for the ECC to immediately stop the remaining export quota of 0.350 million ton sugar and to advise the provincial government to implement the Price Control and Prevention of Profiteering and Hoarding Act at the sub-national level.

It has also been proposed that 300,000 ton white sugar should be imported through the private sector without taxes and duties and no financial support will be provided to the importers by the federal or provincial governments. The decision will be implemented after approval by the ECC.