Pakistan sugar mills refuse to reduce prices to Rs63/kg

Pakistan sugar mills refuse to reduce prices to Rs63/kg

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) has ignored the government’s price cap on sugar and has announced that it will not sell sugar for lower than Rs70 per kilogram.
This Rs70 is not the price consumers will be paying as the cost is expected to be in between Rs75 and Rs80 when sugar finally reaches markets.
The Ministry of Industries and Production has asked sugar mills to sell sugar at Rs63. But the sugar mills’ representative has said that it will take a stay order from the court against the government’s decision to cap the price.
Despite several irregularities being revealed in the sugar inquiry report, the price of sugar is showing no sign of coming down as consumers were expecting after the report was made public.
The sugar mills came under scrutiny after the report revealed that sugar mills and their owners have benefited from the sugar industry unlawfully, keeping sugar prices inflated and also taking subsidies. However, the effect of the report has yet to reach the public as they have been buying sugar at almost the same price as before.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar claimed that the government will have the sugar price reduced in the country after the report revealed that the commodity is sold at artificially high prices.
Akbar said cases have been sent to the Competition Commission of Pakistan, FIA, FBR, and State Bank. He also said that these departments will have to take action within 90 days in subsidy, cartelization, corporate fraud, tax evasion, benami (off the book) transactions, and money laundering cases.
Prime Minister Imran Khan wants the case pursued till the end, he said, adding that he is concerned with the interests of the public.
He went on to say that action will be taken against those involved in these irregularities in the sugar industry and the artificial price hike.
Sugar consumption in the country is at 5.2 million metric tonnes. A Rs1 manipulation in the cost of production translates into a windfall gain of Rs5.2 billion as per the findings of the inquiry commission. In the last five years, the industry has been manipulating the cost by Rs10, Rs12 and Rs15 each year.


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