Monday December 06, 2021

Punjab sugar dealers slowly lifting imported sugar

November 20, 2020

LAHORE: The sugar dealers of Punjab are slowly lifting imported sugar 2000-2500 metric tons from the Karachi Port against the agreed daily lifting capacity of 3500 tons while the Utility Store Corporation has lifted its complete quota of imported sugar from the port and made full payment to the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP).

The Punjab government did not make any payment of sugar it lifted from the port despite the lifting is very slow. A TCP official said that as par an agreement between the Punjab government and the TCP, sugar is being handed over to the Punjab Food Department on deferred payment. However, the duration of deferment of payment is not written in any document while the secretary food Punjab has verbally communicated 15 days deferred payment schedule for imported sugar. Despite this verbal communication, the Punjab Food Department did not make payment of sugar it lifted so far.

The sugar dealers are lifting Punjab’s sugar from the Karachi Port Trust and Port Qasim but have slow arrangements of sugar lifting as compared to the USC. This resulted in increasing backlog of the imported sugar of Punjab. Timely transportation and lifting of imported sugar is the responsibility of the Punjab government. Currently, two vessels are discharging sugar at KPT and one at Port Qasim while one vessel has completed discharging of sugar at Port Qasim and another vessel is coming to Pakistan.

The TCP official said the TCP chairman attempted to sensitize the government about the lifting and payment issues as Punjab already owed the TCP dues from the sugar imported in 2004-05. However, the federal government assured the TCP that it will settle the issue on sugar payment. The TCP official said the vague term of deferred payment was used in the written agreement as no deferred payment duration was written and agreed in the written agreement. This will deprive the TCP of mark-up due to delayed payments.