As International sugar prices fall, the government is considering an international tender for the import of 50,000 tons of Refined Sugar to keep the domestic price in check and as per the officially declared price.
The proposal was discussed at a meeting of the National Price Control Committee (NCP) chaired by Finance, Revenue and Industry Minister Hammad Azhar on Monday.
The federal government has previosuly reversed the Economic Coordination Committee’s decision to allow the import of 0.5 million tonnes of white sugar from India by road. It is cheaper to import sugar by land than by sea.
The new request for the procurement of sugar will be presented by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, but it depends on the price. The previous auction was canceled due to a higher rate.
With the current international price, the final landing cost of sugar in Pakistan will be in the range of Rs 70-80 per kilogram, which will be very close to the retail price of Rs 85 per kilogram set by the govrnment of Punjab. The price of sugar at Utility Stores Corporation (USC) is Rs 68 per kg.
Normal sugar sales in department stores range from 25,000 to 30,000 tons per month. The government has approved 50,000 tons of sugar for the month of Ramadan.
In an official statement, Finance Minister Hammad Azhar requested detailed information from food department representatives in the provinces on prevailing sugar prices in their respective markets and instructed them to strictly control sugar prices (at the retail level) to ensure supply stability and effectively counteract price disparities.
The Minister of Industry and Complementary Production informed the National Committee of a slight decrease in world sugar prices, which will ease upward pressure on commodity prices in local markets.
Food Security Minister Gufran Meimun briefed the committee on the country’s wheat reserves. The meeting discussed the general situation with the release of wheat stocks in the respective provinces.
The finance minister ordered provincial government officials to take appropriate measures to control wheat flour prices. The National Council of Veterinary Medicine has asked the provinces to take all possible measures to ensure an uninterrupted supply of wheat at fair prices in all fields.
Representatives from four provinces informed the finance minister of the plans to buy wheat.
Mr. Hammad reviewed the plans and ordered the governors to obtain wheat freely and on time in coordination with all federal and local authorities.
The Punjab government informed the meeting about the establishment of Ramadan / Sahulat bazaars to provide people with basic goods at subsidized prices during the holy month.
The committee instructed provincial governments to ensure the supply of essential products at discounted prices through the Ramadan / Sahelt markets to ensure maximum consumer convenience in accordance with the prime minister’s directives.
The USC Managing Director briefed the committee on steps being taken to ensure that basic materials are available at subsidized prices under the Ramadan Package at various outlets across the country.
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