LAHORE: The Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) has demanded the government to allow export of excess sugar production and urged the prime minister to spare time for a meeting with the sugar industry.
During the current season, production of sugar has reached record 7.51 million tonnes. As the locally produced sugar is not exempted from any taxes, the government received huge amount of taxes from the industry, a spokesman of the PSMA claimed on Monday.
The spokesman said that the sugar industry of Pakistan had produced 5.63 million tonnes of sugar against the total need of six million tonnes. To bridge this gap, the government had imported sugar without levying any sales tax which incurred loss to the national exchequer whereas it proved beneficial for the farmers and industry of foreign countries.
He added that the sugar industry had operationalized the mills ahead of the stipulated time under the government pressure but the government did not fulfill its promises it made with the sugar industry of giving working capital to the sugar mills. On the other hand, the FBR taking credit of the track and trace system is totally out of proportion. In fact, the sugar mills had already put in place a strict monitoring system before the track and trace system which included cameras and the presence of FBR staff in the sugar mills. Sugar mills have always extended support to the government and will always continue to do so.
This year the sugar mills time and again made the government realize that the country has received a bumper crop of sugarcane which clearly shows that sugar mills had disbursed timely payments to the farmers and more than the government-fixed rates of last year. This motivated the farmers to sow sugarcane on maximum area of land. This is the reason that the sugar mills are still running to their capacity.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022