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According to a Business Recorder news item, “Export of sugar: PSMA links sugarcane crushing to govt permission”, the Punjab government has asked the sugar millers to start sugarcane crushing for the season 2022-23 before November 25, 2023 but they have told the government that they will start crushing of sugarcane only after they’re given permission to export surplus sugar.

In my view, there is no harm if the sugar millers are assured by the government that it would allow them to export surplus sugar. It is needless to say that the country desperately needs increase in inward flows of dollar in order to replenish country’s beleaguered foreign exchange reserves. Having said that, I must say that it’s not a simple issue because the question what actually constitutes ‘surplus’ sugar does not have a clear answer. I, therefore, urge both the government and the representative body of sugar millers to come clean about their estimates, however tentative or progressive, about the likely quantity of surplus sugar.

Mehdi Masood (Karachi)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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