Utility Stores Corporation selling sugar in market
KARACHI: The Utility Stores Corporation (USC) has been found to have sold tonnes of the imported white sugar in the market instead of selling it to the under-privileged people at subsidised rates.
The Customs authorities have seized 500 bags (50kg each) of white sugar, which was being smuggled to Afghanistan.
“[The] Customs Squad Nowshera intercepted a truck carrying 500 bags of white sugar, and it was intended to be smuggled to Afghanistan,” an official said.
“The transporter of the goods could not provide any evidence proving legal import of the goods, nor was it locally produced.”
The official said initial investigations found that the goods had been imported by the government for sale at the Utility Stores on subsidised rates. However, the USC officials sold a large quantity in the black market, depriving the people of the cheaper commodity.
“Our investigations have found that at least seven trucks load of white sugar had been sold in the market by [the] USC, and the 500 bags seized were to be smuggled to Afghanistan, not by the USC itself but by the persons who bought the goods from [the] USC,” the official said.
In view of the rising sugar prices, the government issued several tenders to import sugar for sale to the people through the Utility Stores at subsidised rates. However, the commodity remained in short supply at the stores and people were forced to buy the commodity from the open market at higher rates.
Sugar is being sold at over Rs100/kg in the market, while the government has fixed the rate at Rs85/kg at the Utility Stores.
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