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KARACHI: Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) Sindh chapter on Thursday said the dollar-strapped Pakistan can fetch up to $1 billion by exporting the minimum 1.3 million tonnes of surplus sugar, currently stocked in local go-downs, this year till November 30.

Addressing a Press Conference at FPCCI Head Office, the PSMA Sindh chapter Chairman Zaid Zakarya urged the government to allow export of the surplus sugar and assured that the local price of the commodity will not be increased from the government notified rates: Rs84.50 per kilogram.

He said the county posted a record 8 million MT of sugarcane production this year, while the total local consumption is not more than 6.5 million MT.

He warned that if the government did not allow export of the said commodity, many sugar mills might close due to financial crunch and will not be able to sell new sugar because of surplus stock and payments for the farmer could not be made.

The delayed decision would cause huge financial crisis for farmer and rural economy, and it would lead to catastrophe in 2024 season.

Due to the current floods, he said all crops other than Sugarcane have been affected; timely export decision will help the farmers to protect the industry.

FPCCI Senior Vice President Suleman Chawla, and Shabbir Mansha Churra were also present on this occasion and they also urged the government to allow exports after conducting audit of the PSMA claim.

Zakarya said the neighbouring India has produced 35 million MT of sugar, the government has allowed export of 10 Million MT while maintaining equilibrium between consumer, farmer and sugar mills.

“We must export sugar to save farmer, rural economy, consumer, sugar industry and above all Pakistan which is struggling for dollars, and seeking IMF support,” he said.

“Pakistan would earn $1 billion in valuable foreign exchange and economic crisis would be avoided through the export of the surplus stock. If timely decision is not taken, the sugar industry would be pushed towards bankruptcy, and Pakistan will lose one of its largest agri-based industry,” he said.

He argued that Sugar industry is national asset of the country, because it contributes Rs125 billion to the national exchequer on account of direct and indirect taxes. The industry pays the farmers approximately Rs600 billion in 100 days.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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