LAHORE: The Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) has categorically rejected the rumours that there is a looming threat of sugar shortage in the country.
The PSMA spokesman on Thursday said that at present sugar mills were not running to their full capacity due to a few reasons. “One of these issues includes that there are some people in the market who want imported sugar to remain present in the market. These people are pressurizing the retailers to sell imported sugar rather the locally produced quality sugar.”
On the other hand, farmers have yet not harvested the sugarcane completely because in southern Punjab they are harvesting cotton to make space for wheat sowing. Whereas in central Punjab, farmers are harvesting rice and corn in order to sow the wheat crop.
After getting free from these crops, farmers will harvest the sugarcane crop. At present, the sugar mills are trying their utmost to make it possible that quality and locally-produced sugar must be sold in the market in order to give timely payments to the farmers.
The spokesman added that the sugar industry had made an appeal last year and this year too to the government not to run the sugar mills before the scheduled time because shortage of raw material (sugarcane) will ultimately bring loss to the sugar mills. In that scenario, sugar mills have to crush the low ripe sugarcane on furnace oil and fuel which led to huge loss of billions of rupees to the industry. But the sugar industry fully cooperated with the government despite facing huge loss due to early start of crushing season.
He went on to say that the sugar industry wants to go along with the federal and Punjab government so that the industry, farmers, masses and government can avert any future crisis.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021