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January 22, 2021

Sweet trade

Newspost

 
January 22, 2021

Sugarcane is an important cash crop of Pakistan. There are around 88 sugar mills in the country for sugar manufacturing. Some portions of the crop are also used for ‘gur’ (jaggery) production, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). According to some media reports, the inclusion of traditional ‘gur’ in the same HS code of sugar and brown sugar has badly dented its trade in KP, besides restricting its export to Afghanistan. This has had negative effects on the seasonal trade – which starts from October and ends in March – that provides income opportunities to around 100,000 people in the province. Even though the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) took this decision to restrict sugar smuggling, it has created many problems for gur makers and traders. As a result, traders have also stopped the supply of gur to the newly merged districts, including Mohmand and Waziristan.

It is worth mentioning that the jaggery produced in KP comes with unique taste because of which it dominates markets in Gulf and Central Asian countries. The relevant authorities should realise the importance of this cash crop and make urgent arrangements to ensure that its export to Afghanistan is not hampered. Also, if the government takes measures for its promotion in international markets, the country can earn a decent amount of foreign exchange.

Khan Faraz

Peshawar