LAHORE: The Punjab government has asked the sugar millers to start sugarcane crushing for the season 2022-23 before November 25, 2023, by fixing the support price at Rs 300 per maunds.
Punjab Food Minister Hasnain Bahadur Dareshak confirmed it that the provincial cabinet during a meeting on Friday has approved the date and support price for the crushing season 2022-23. However, a notification will be issued very soon in this regard.
Nevertheless, sugar millers had categorically refused to start crushing season 2022-23 unless they are given permission to export one million tons of surplus sugar lying in their godowns which may fetch US one billion dollars to the national exchequer.
At present 1.2 to 1.3 million tons of sugar is available in godowns, which is sufficient to meet the national domestic requirement till January 15, 2023.
“If the government insists not to permit the export then let the crushing season start from mid January. If the government does not believe in the figures presented by the millers or the cost of sugar production then it may appoint an independent foreign auditor to let the issue settle for once and all,” Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) Central Chairman Asim Ghani Usman said this while addressing at a press conference.
The PSMA chairman also said if the government due to political consideration wanted to keep some buffer stocks then it can retain 500,000 tons of sugar and allow rest of the surplus to export.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022