Sugar crisis: perceptions and realities
Seventy percent of Pakistanis think the recent sugar crisis is artificial and hatched out of a conspiracy, according to a latest poll released by Gallup Pakistan on Thursday. And it seems their belief holds some truth, if not true in the absolute sense.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2009
Late on Wednesday night, the president of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association Iskander Khan told a private TV channel that millers are now willing to sell the commodity at Rs 45 per kilogram to Trading Corporation of Pakistan without stating any major reason. But it doesnt take a calculus expert to figure this out. Khans suddenly found kindness to sell sugar at lower prices comes after the TCP imported 75,000 tons, with a room to import another 25,000 tons.
Reportedly, however, there are talks that TCP would cancel the order, if the government approves of it. TCPs spokesman says the government bought the commodity at $638 per tons including freight, which translates into Rs 53 per kilogram assuming the rupee-dollar parity of 83 to the dollar.
This contradicts Khans statement who says the landed cost of imported sugar will amount to Rs 65 per kilogram. This also goes against the governments claim that it is providing subsidised sugar, as the commodity is currently being sold at Rs 52 per Kg at Utility Stores. Who to believe in this mess is a difficult question...but in the meantime consumers continue to suffer from tasting a costly sweetener.