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ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is said to have expressed his willingness to allow the export of sugar; however, a final decision with regard to the quantity would be taken by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet Tuesday (Nov 29).

Sources said that the government may initially allow somewhere between 150,000 to 500,000 tonnes of sugar export contingent on assurance from the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association that the price of sugar would not go beyond Rs110 per kg. They added that a meeting of the Sugar Advisory Board may also be held before the ECC meeting.

Dar chaired a meeting to review the demand and supply situation of sugar in the country on Monday, said a statement issued by the Finance Ministry.

The meeting reviewed the available stock position and future demand of sugar in the country and was apprised that sufficient stocks of sugar are available in the country. It was informed that sugar mills have started crushing sugar cane in Sindh and Punjab. It was also informed that the production of sugar in the province of Sindh will be less than last year due to floods.

Sugar export: decision to be taken on Thursday

The finance minister has expressed satisfaction on the availability and production of sugar in the country and stressed on maintaining the strategic reserves of sugar and maintenance of prices of sugar for providing maximum relief to the masses.

On November 21, 2022, a delegation of the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) led by Asim Ghani Usman met Finance Minister Dar on November 21, 2022, to seek permission for sugar export. The meeting decided to collect data from provincial sugar commissioners with regard to the availability and surplus sugar stock in the country before taking any decision.

The PSMA delegation said to have claimed that there is a surplus stock of sugar of around 1.2 million tonnes but the Minister for Food Security and Research, Tariq Bashir Cheema, did not agree to their claim and contended that sugarcane crops has been damaged by the floods in Sindh and there is fear of shortfall of sugar in the country.

Therefore, it was decided that the Ministry of National Food, Security and Research would collect data from provincial sugar commissioners with regard to availability and surplus sugar for analysis before taking the final decision.

Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Tariq Cheema, SAPM on Finance Tariq Bajwa, SAPM on Revenue Tariq Mehmood Pasha, Secretary NFS&R, Special Secretary Finance, and other senior officers from Finance and NFS&R attended the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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