ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet is likely to allow import of 100,000 metric tons of sugar for strategic reserves.
To be presided over by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin today (Wednesday), the ECC would consider Commerce Ministry’s Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2022-25.
The meeting would also consider Ministry of Industries and Production’s summary for import of 100,000 metric tons of sugar for strategic reserves.
The last meeting of the ECC has allowed import of 200,000 metric tons of sugar to replenish the strategic reserves and do away with the role of speculative elements in the domestic market.
A summary was presented to the ECC meeting, wherein, it was stated that the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) on 14.06.2021, directed the Industries and Production Division to bring a summary to the ECC for importing sugar amounting 0.25-0.30 million metric tons to build strategic reserves and minimise the role of speculative elements in the domestic market.
The ECC of the Cabinet approved the import of 100.000 metric tons to meet the demand of USC with C&F price US$526.80 in its meeting held on 28 June 2021.
Furthermore, the NPMC, in its meeting held on 12.07.2021, directed the Industries and Production Division to initiate further process for importing sugar to build strategic reserves and minimise the role of speculative elements in the domestic market.
During the Sugar Advisory Board (SAB) meeting held on 15-07-2021 under the chairmanship of secretary Industries and Production Division, sugar stocks were discussed and cane commissioner, Punjab said that they have ample stocks but would not be in a position to cater to demands of the KP, AJK, GB, and ICT (regions dependent on the Punjab for supply of sugar).
The cane commissioner pointed out that there would be expected shortfall for them.
The SAB decided that the federal government should import at least 200,000 metric tons of sugar to keep the strategic reserves, to maintain price stability and to check expected price escalation.
The last meeting of the ECC allowed import of 200,000 metric tons of sugar and now the Ministry of Industries as per price monitoring committee would seek approval of the ECC for import of another 100,000 metric tons of sugar today (Wednesday).
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021