Millers demand sugar policy before start of crushing season

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LAHORE - The government should announce sugar policy before start of crushing season, preparing a complete and permanent mechanism for sugar export by fixing a limit.  PSMA Punjab chairman Riaz Qadir Butt said the government should devise proper export policy in order to facilitate the industry and the growers.

He opposed the support price of sugarcane as it is against free market economy, and it is implemented nowhere in the world. The price of sugarcane should be fixed on demand and supply mechanism as sugar rate in fixed by market forces. He said that if government continues to announce cane support price than it should also intervene to stabilize sugar prices to avoid losses faced by the millers, he argued.

If prices fall from a fixed limit, the government should purchase stock to support the industry, he suggested.

Sugar mills, under the law, are bound to crush all cane produced by the growers but government does not care for the mills when they face over-production, he lamented.

PSMA Punjab chairman Riaz Qadir Butt said exporting sugar would help not only off-loading the surplus sugar but also help earn precious foreign exchange for the country. Replying to a question, he said that presently sugar mills are running at 60 to 70 per cent of their capacity as sugarcane is short.

The PSMA Punjab chairman expressed the hope that the new government to announce a complete and permanent mechanism for sugar export by fixing a limit.

“We hope after assuming charge the newly-elected government will make sincere efforts to resolve economic challenges faced by the country, bring economic reforms, resolve energy crisis and maintain law and order,” he said.

He expressed his hope that being a businessman and a matured politician Nawaz Sharif and his team would take immediate and proactive measures to usher country’s economy on track of development by finding permanent solutions to the core issues like energy, unemployment, inflation and poverty alleviation. He said that the long-term policies and permanent mechanism for sugar export will allow the millers to enhance their expertise and endeavour for foreign market, besides producing surplus sugar to earn precious foreign exchange,” Butt stated.

As exporters are not aware of world market norms and clientage chain they have to take more time to seek information for marketing of their products. He blamed the government for inconsistent policies, which confused the millers as well as the exporters to decide its production target and export strategies.

“Whenever the sugar production surpasses a particular limit, necessary for local needs, the sugar mills should export surplus stock without waiting for permission of government,” PSMA Punjab chairman observed.

He anticipated a bumper sugar crop for the season 2012-13, putting the stockpiles of sweetener at 6.2 million tons after adding carryover stocks of 1.2 million tons.

He said that Pakistan has so far exported around 800,000 tons of sugar while a total of 1.2 million tons of sugar is expected to be exported by the end of August.

Courtesy:  Nation

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