KARACHI: President FPCCI Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo has proposed that inter-provincial trade and transportation of sugar and sugar cane should be allowed to end disparity in sugar prices and availability status across different provinces of the country.
Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo observed that market forces allowed under fair and transparent conditions do have the potential to stabilise the sugar market and ensure availability across Pakistan at competitive prices.
FPCCI Chief has maintained that no government can continue to regulate and subsidize any major commodity for an indefinite time period and for an indefinite expenditure cap. He added that around 60% of sugar is consumed in the country by commercial consumers that 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 past few years alone,” he added.
VP FPCCI Adeel Siddiqui said that the price of sugar will continue to be unstable and will continue to add inflationary pressures if the sugar cane crops of different provinces remain confined to their provincial boundaries. “The free market is the answer to price instability in the wheat flour as well,” he added.
Adeel Siddiqui stated that the currently ongoing crushing season will see a bumper sugar crop and, in any case, opening up provincial borders for sugar cane transportation will help bring the sugar prices down substantially and relieve the masses at large.
Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo added that Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) and the government are face-to-face on the issue of restricted movement of sugar within provinces and as President FPCCI, he is ready to mediate between the government and PSMA to reach a win-win resolution.
Maggo emphasised that Ministry of Finance & Revenue and Food Security & Research should establish a better and functional liaison with the stakeholders of 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.