Former President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Dr Shahid Rasheed Butt, said on Sunday that the sugar mills mafia has prepared for a new sugar crisis in the country to reap illegitimate profits. Like last year, the mafia aims to rob people with low incomes of at least one hundred billion rupees amid skyrocketing inflation, he said.
He informed that a new plan had been made to export five lakh tonnes of sugar, citing the excuse of the surplus stock, and efforts are being made to get permission for it.
Shahid Rasheed Butt said in a statement issued here today that after getting the permission to export sugar, the prices would be increased in the local market on one pretext or another to plunder the populace. Last year, the government granted permission to export sugar on the pretext of surplus sugar, increasing the prices in the local market. A price hike in the presence of surplus stock defies market logic.
He warned that sugar millers should not be allowed to export sugar this time; otherwise, they would engineer an artificial crisis for which the masses would have to pay. He said the crushing season is starting, but the governments of Sindh and Punjab need to be on one page.
The official purchase price of sugarcane in Punjab is 400 rupees per maund, while in Sindh, it has been fixed at 425 rupees, which has caused instability in the market.
The farmers of Punjab want the same rate as Sindh, but they need to be heard. Due to this price difference, the farmers of Punjab will suffer a loss of up to twenty thousand rupees per acre, which is unbearable for them.
Shahid Rashid Butt said that this year, the positive results of action against hoarders and profiteers had come out. Still, the sugar mill owners got away with it, and there is little possibility of any effective action against them in the future.