Tuesday November 30, 2021

Punjab fixes sugar retail price at Rs85 per kg

April 03, 2021

LAHORE: The Punjab government Friday fixed maximum retail price of sugar at Rs85 per kilogram after the federal government calculated ex-mill price of sugar at Rs80 per kilogram, and asked the Punjab government to fix the retail price accordingly.

According to an order, issued by the Directorate General Industries, Prices, Weights and Measures Punjab to all commissioners and deputy commissioners, the retail price of sugar should not be fixed more than Rs85 per kilogram in any case.

The order said that the ex-mill rate of sugar was hovering around Rs92-94 per kilogram. The Punjab government took up the issue with the federal government for fixing the sugar price and requested for provision of the cost calculation of sugar for the current season.

The federal government provided Rs80 per kilogram ex-mill rate and the provincial government notified the sugar retail rate after adding incidental charges, transportation, and profit margins including all taxes.

However, contrary to the government calculations and the order, the wholesale price of sugar in Akbari Mandi of Lahore remained Rs97.60 per kilogram on Friday while the commodity was sold for Rs100 to 110 per kilogram in retail. Interestingly, the government has given a freehand to the super markets and departmental stores to charge any price of sugar. In various local and international chains of super stores, sugar was sold up to Rs115 per kilogram.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) Punjab Zone rejected the rates calculated and fixed by the federal and provincial governments. An official of the Association said they would challenge the order in a court of law. The official said the PSMA had already asked the Punjab government to evolve a sugarcane procurement policy similar to the wheat procurement policy so that it would be able to manage and fix the retail price of sugar.

On the other hand, the retail price for Sheikhupura was fixed at Rs85 per kilogram. According to a notification, issued by Sheikhupura Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Asghar Joiya, the retail price of sugar was fixed at Rs85 per kilogram till further order. No Punjab government officials were available for a comment. Text messages were sent and phone calls were made to Minister for Industries and Trade Mian Aslam Iqbal, Secretary Industries Wasif Khurshid, Director General Industries Rana Abdul Shakoor, Secretary Information Raja Jahangir and DGPR Saman Rai, but none of them responded.