The Punjab government has initiated a crackdown against hoarders in an attempt to curb the sugar shortage in the provincial capital.
According to the report, a few days before Ramadan, the government had fixed the selling price of sugar at Rs 85 per kg, after which sugar disappeared from the shelves of shops.
However, those who did not follow government rates were fined and even arrested.
The shopkeeper said that they cannot buy sugar at Rs 100 per kg from the wholesale market and sell it at Rs 85 per kg.”
Provincial government officials cracked down on sugar hoarders in several districts and raided warehouses to seize sugar under the recently enacted Chinese Supply Chain Management Order.
The law authorizes the government to raid any place where more than 2 tonnes of sugar is stored and the owner has not registered it with the district administration.
As a result of these operations, 660 sacks of 50 kg sugar were seized in Multan while 590 sacks were seized during two separate raids in Garhi Shahu and Begum Kot areas of Lahore.
According to Lahore Deputy Commissioner Mudassar Riaz, the seized bags of sugar will be sold to retailers at a wholesale price of Rs 83 per kg.
It may be recalled that under a decision of the Lahore High Court, sugar is being bought from sugar mills at Rs 80 per kg, which is being sold at Rs 65 per kg in Ramadan bazaars with a subsidy.
As a result, there are long queues of consumers in Ramadan bazaars to buy cheap sugar.
The mill owners reminded the government that under the court order, only 1.5 million tonnes of sugar could be taken from the mills during the month of Ramadan, suggesting that the district administration allow the sale of sugar at unregistered shops at the market rate.
They said the move would ease the pressure on some outlets selling cheap sugar.