High sugar and steel bar prices continue to hurt public sentiments.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President of Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW), said on Friday that despite the unbearable inflation in the country, the sugar mafia has created a new sugar crisis for profit. The influential mafia has increased the price of sugar by ten rupees per kg. Now, he said that sugar is available at 160 rupees per kg in urban centres, while it is available for Rs 170 in villages.

In a statement issued today, Dr Murtaza Mughal said that the caretaker government should control the sugar mafia from stealing undue profits from the masses, as it can lead to the bankruptcy of many businesses relying on sugar. He said that the previous government raised many slogans, but at the same time, the sugar mafia was given a free hand.

The present government should stop the export and smuggling of sugar so that the price of sugar will be reduced in the market and provide relief to the masses.

Dr Mughal said that even after adding all the expenses and profits of the sugar mills, wholesalers, and retailers, the price of sugar should be at most one hundred rupees per kg.

However, the people are being charged sixty rupees more per kg, which has no justification, he observed. The sugar mafia has stored hundreds of thousands of tonnes of sugar in warehouses for profit, and if a crackdown is launched, its price will drop to one hundred rupees per kg in a day.

He said that the price of steel bars has also increased to Rs. 10,000 per tonne, and now it is selling at Rs. 280,000 to Rs. 290,000 per tonne in cities and up to Rs. 300,000 per tonne in rural areas. The construction activities will be badly affected by this decision; therefore, something needs to be done in this regard, he demanded.

He said that the first two days of the caretaker government have been very heavy on the people as their cost of living has jumped significantly.

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