Millers threaten closures in face of cane shortages

Published November 21, 2020
The Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) on Friday wrote a letter to the Ministry of Industries warning that the country’s sugar mills could face closure as they face serious shortages of raw material. — AFP/File
The Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) on Friday wrote a letter to the Ministry of Industries warning that the country’s sugar mills could face closure as they face serious shortages of raw material. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) on Friday wrote a letter to the Ministry of Industries warning that the country’s sugar mills could face closure as they face serious shortages of raw material.

In a letter titled “Non-Availability of Sugarcane aimed at High Prices Demanded by Farmers,” addressed to Minister of Industries & Production Hammad Azhar, the association said that farmers were trying to manipulate their position by holding cane supplies.

The PSMA also forwarded a copy of the letter to the Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam.

The PSMA has said that sugar mills all over country have commenced the sugarcane crushing season for 2020-2021 as per the directions issued by respective provincial governments.

However, the mills were facing a problem as growers have not started sugarcane harvesting in most regions of the country. “The farmers were demanding high sugarcane price compared to the notified sugarcane price of Rs200 per 40 kg by the provincial governments,” the association said while adding that “owing to the current scarce supply of sugarcane, it is feared that the sugar mills facing shortage of cane will be forced to shut down their units within a week.”

The association asked the Industries Minister Azhar to intervene and resolve the issue with the help of district administration to ensure regular supply of sugarcane at notified rates to ensure reasonable price of sugar to consumers. The PSMA has maintained that high sugarcane rates would eventually lead to higher cost of sugar production in the country, but sugar mills would be blamed for the increase in prices.

The sugar industry is currently facing an inquiry by the Competition Commission of Pakistan due to alleged cartelisation and price manipulations by the sugar industry and the PSMA.

Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2020

Opinion

PML-N bad cop outfoxed
Updated 13 Jun 2021

PML-N bad cop outfoxed

The feel-good factor can cancel out some of the very negative perceptions about the PTI among low-income voters.
Sink or swim
13 Jun 2021

Sink or swim

What have schools learnt during Covid?
Decoding Digitisation
Updated 12 Jun 2021

Decoding Digitisation

The scope of information technology or digitisation continues to be discussed in a rather limited manner in mainstream discourse.

Editorial

Covid strategy
Updated 13 Jun 2021

Covid strategy

It is critical for govt to demonstrate to the public how badly health, business and education have suffered during the pandemic.
13 Jun 2021

Women in Balochistan

THE Balochistan government seems to be taking steps to improve women’s integration into society and the workforce...
13 Jun 2021

Deprived of cricket

THE federal cabinet has disallowed PTV to enter into an agreement with an Indian company for broadcast rights to...
12 Jun 2021

Feel-good budget

WE have been here before. Every time a government gets some fiscal space it immediately shifts gears to growth,...
Rep Omar’s tweet
Updated 12 Jun 2021

Rep Omar’s tweet

Over the last several decades, America has been instrumental in destabilising a number of Muslim states.
12 Jun 2021

Poor health indicators

IF the coronavirus has taught the world anything, it is that the old maxim ‘health is wealth’ is true. Though...