Caretaker Federal Minister for Commerce & Industries Dr Gohar Ejaz on Wednesday said that the government will not allow sugar export till the assessment of full production and consumption at the end of the season.

The remarks come a day after Dr Ejaz chaired the meeting of Sugar Advisory Board (SAB) in Islamabad, addressing the challenges confronting the sugar industry.

“Had the honour of chairing the meeting of SAB to discuss the strategic shift in our sugar policies,” said Dr Gohar, in a statement on social media platform X. “We decided to break away from the previous cycle of exporting sugar and then importing it due to local market shortages,” he said.

The caretaker minister was of the view that the “outdated approach” not only caused financial losses to Pakistan but also increased the cost of sugar for the common man.

“We will not allow the export of sugar till the full production and consumption is assessed at the end of the season,” he said.

“By adopting a Pakistan First approach, we are committed to ensuring a stable and affordable supply of sugar for our citizens. Together, we will overcome challenges and work towards a brighter future,” he added.

Gohar informed he would chair another meeting of SAB for full implementation of the track and trace system to monitor sugar production and consumption in Pakistan.

Earlier on Tuesday, Dr Gohar, while chairing the SAB meeting, received a briefing on the sugar industry’s 900,000 tons of excess closing stock.

The Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) requested a permit for the export of up to 500,000 tons, citing the beginning of the crushing season and a substantial sugar cane crop.

However, the interim minister denied the request, while stressing a departure from past policies of exporting sugar followed by imports.

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Faraz Nov 23, 2023 01:12pm
Good call by the government.
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