An inter-ministerial committee headed by Commerce Minister, Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan is likely to recommend measures to curtail sky-rocketing sugar price in the wholesale and retail markets, well informed sources told Business Recorder.
The committee is meeting on Thursday (today). Secretary Ministry of Commerce, Shehzad Arbab Secretary Industries and Production, Arif Azim and Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research will attend the meeting.
According to sources, price of sugar increased by 20 per cent in the market from Rs 52 to 62 per kg after the ECC allowed export of sugar. The committee, in its previous meeting had recommended that the government should impose a ban on export of sugar in case price in the domestic market rises by 10 per cent. “Presently sugar stock is around 2.2 million tons which is sufficient till July 2016 but increase in price is a cause of concern for the Commerce Ministry,” said an official on condition of anonymity.
The committee argued that an increase in price at wholesale level will inevitably result in price escalation at retail level in due course. Further, in the international market, there is likely to be an increase in sugar price due to reports of lower production of sugar in India, the second largest producer of sugar in the world.
The Commerce Minister emphasised that the consumer interests must be protected and any increase in sugar price beyond a reasonable level of market fluctuation (say 10%) must lead to discontinuation of exports.
Secretary Industries argued that according to the production estimates, there would be sufficient surplus stock of sugar available in the country to merit exports. He further stated that the updated stock position and estimated production of sugar will be communicated to the Ministry of Commerce. Economic Co-ordination Committee of the Cabinet has approved cash support of Rs 13 per kg to only those mills which will pay a price of Rs 180 per 40 kg to growers.
Source: Business Recorder