Friday, PM Imran Khan said sugar prices in Pakistan rose because Sindh shut down three sugar mills. As a result, it set off a chain reaction in the rest of the country.
His remarks came during an address at a ceremony in Attock.
The sugar price shot through the roof on Thursday as the wholesale rate touched Rs 150 kilogram in most parts of the country and the retail rate up to Rs 160 kg, with no official control at either level.
Last week, Pakistan reported sugar price of Rs 125 per kg, which is Rs 55 more than the prices a week earlier. Two weeks ago, sugar prices were Rs 105 per kg.
Speaking about the surging prices at the ceremony, PM Khan attributed it to the closure of sugar mills in Sindh.
“The price of sugar in Pakistan hit Rs 140 per kg. I inquired why this was so. I learned that three sugar mills in Sindh were shut down despite being operational,” PM Khan said.
To clarify, as the mills shut down, the country faced a sudden drop in supply. As a result, the prices increased.
PM Khan then went on to explain that he subsequently learned that due to the reduced supply, Punjab began hoarding sugar. This happened because when sugarcane crushing season begins in Pakistan, the commodity is first taken from Sindh, and then later from Punjab.
why sugar price increases
1.Sindh closes 3 sugar mill
2.Punjab sugar mill store all the market sugar
3.Imran Khan oder for taking all the sugar in government coustody then he knows sugar mills have taken stay oder against this coustody.#sugar_price
— USAMA BIN SAEED (@usa_binsaeed) November 5, 2021
Sugar mills’ stay order against the government
“I told the chief secretary that our law forbids hoarding and so if the sugar mills are doing so, we must retrieve the stock and bring it out to the market so the price drops,” PM Khan said.
On this note, PM Khan further revealed that the sugar mills obtained a stay order against the rule. Therefore, the government could not do anything.
Furthermore, the PM discovered that the Competition Commission of Pakistan charged the mills with fines worth Rs 40 billion for hoarding sugar through cartelization.
“They obtained a stay order against that too,” PM Khan said.
PM Imran Khan further criticized the sugar mills. He said they had gone so far even to obtain stay orders against the Rs 500 billion in taxes that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) charged them for selling sugar “off books.”