FPCCI suggests interprovincial sugar trade

Staff Reporter BOL News

25th Nov, 2021. 02:52 pm

KARACHI: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has suggested interprovincial trade of sugar and sugarcane to avoid shortage of the commodity in the country.

FPCCI president Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo proposed that the inter-provincial trade and transportation of sugar and sugarcane should be allowed to end disparity in the prices and availability of the commodity across all the provinces of the country.

Maggo said that the market forces allowed under fair and transparent conditions do have the potential to stabilise the sugar market and ensure availability across Pakistan at competitive rates.

No government can continue to regulate and subsidise any major commodity for an indefinite period and for an indefinite expenditure cap, he said, adding that around 60 per cent of sugar is consumed in the country by commercial consumers; and, these consumers can create a healthy competitive environment.

Healthy competition and free market access is the only real-world, efficient, consumer-friendly and sustainable solution to Pakistan’s chronic food inflation, which has doubled the food prices in the last few years alone, he added.

Adeel Siddqui, vice president of the FPCCI, said that the sugar price will continue to be unstable and will continue to add inflationary pressures if the crops of different provinces remain confined to their provincial boundaries. Free market is the answer to price instability in wheat flour, as well, he added.

Siddiqui said that currently the ongoing crushing season will see a bumper sugar crop and, in any case, opening up of provincial borders for sugarcane transportation will help bring the sugar prices down substantially and relieve the masses, at large.

Maggo said that the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) and the government are face-to-face on the issue of restricted movement of sugar within provinces; and, as the FPCCI president, he is ready to mediate between the government and PSMA to reach a win-win solution.

He emphasised that the Ministry of Finance and Revenue and Food Security and Research should establish a better and functional liaison with the stakeholders of the sugar industry at every stage to avert any future sugar crises in the country; and, also, save precious foreign exchange reserves through creating an enabling environment for the domestic sugar industry.