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ISLAMABAD: The Commerce Ministry has reportedly decided to resist Pakistan Sugar Mills Association’s ‘unsound’ sugar export plan, to be placed before the Sugar Advisory Board (SAB) on Wednesday (May 29), well-informed sources told Business Recorder.

The Ministry of Commerce headed by Jam Kamal, Ministry of National Food Security and Research headed by Rana Tanveer Hussain, and Federal Minister for Industries and Production (MoI&P) are already facing criticism due to wheat import scam, which has severely damaged the interests of wheat growers in Punjab.

A few senior officials of Ministry of National Food Security and Research have been sacked due to their alleged involvement in import of wheat.

PSGA, PSMA appeal PM to allow export of surplus sugar

Insiders claim that an unverified claim of Rs 40 billion payable to growers has been shared with the government though payables are not more than Rs 12 billion.

“Out of 41 mills in Punjab 22 have cleared 100% of the payment. The remaining payables are about 10% of those yet to clear 100%. How then can 40 mills be bankrupt as is being alleged in a briefing to the Prime Minister,” said one of the officials on condition of anonymity.

Mills of Sindh and KPK reportedly do not have any substantial amount payable to growers.

There is a very strong impression in the concerned Ministries that sugar millers lobby which is very strong and exerts influence at the highest level, will use all tools to reap maximum benefit from the current set up.

The sources said, stock position as on April 30, 2024, was recorded at 4.4 million tons for seven months (up to November 2024 ), adding that consumption is about 3.85 million tons or 550,000 per month. Out of the remaining surplus 550,000 is to be kept as a buffer.

“Virtually there are no stocks and fudged surplus stocks of 1.5 million are being orchestrated to enable windfall profits,” the sources said adding that Prime Minister has directed that price of sugar should not increase from Rs 140/kg throughout the rest of the year in the event that export is allowed.

Current offers from Afghanistan are in the range of $ 600 per ton which translate to Rs 166/kg whereas a comparison with local market with sales tax of 18% brings the price to Rs 196/kg.

“After obtaining export permission from the government no mill would sell sugar at Rs 140/kg and instead would hold stocks,” the sources continued.

The Association has rarely honoured commitments made to previous governments with respect to prices after securing export permissions.

“If at all there is a surplus it should be determined at the beginning of the season for possible disposal,” the sources said, adding that the proposed quantity of export is unlikely to be approved by the Board due to existing high political temperature in the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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Adnan May 29, 2024 07:38am
This country is going to be sinked shortly
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Jehan Gir May 29, 2024 10:57pm
Sugar Mafia again want to sink the country. The public of Pakistan should not allow this to happen.
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